Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Lincoln’s Flying Spies

Good/Average, Middle School

Lincoln’s Flying Spies: Thaddeus Lowe and the Civil War Balloon Corps by Gail Jarrow

From 1861-1863, the Union Army had a special Balloon division that spied on Confederate forces during the Civil War. From high in the air, armed with a telegraph, Thaddeus Lowe and his team would tell commanders about camp and troop movements, so much so that the Confederate forces would hide their numbers and even made fake cannons out of tree trunks to fool the Union. Cannons were fired at the balloons, but mostly they were too far out of range to hit, except when the balloons were being raised or lowered. This book is filled with black and white photos, illustrations, and other documentation of this short-lived aeronautical force. Extensive endnotes are included along with a timeline and extensive index. This biographical work is appropriate for school reports for the middle grades, as well as general interest reading about this little known specialized force and the hard work of one man to create it.

-Corinda J. Humphrey, Los Angeles Public Library

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