Top positive review
A superb and exciting story for anyone
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2020
I am a foreign language and culture/history teacher, a military veteran, and a Civil War buff. I cannot recommend this book more highly. This short read (127 pages) has a number of great aspects:
1. Young people, especially tween and teen girls, will probably like Emma a lot and will appreciate her plucky toughness against the unfair odds of her time.
2. Teachers and parents should appreciate it for its real depictions of Civil War battles like Vicksburg and the Seven Days, as well as the inclusion in minor roles of real people like Lincoln, McClellan and Jackson. This would be a great book for 6th-9th grade social studies or English.
3. It's a true story and what Emma did for her country is amazing! The author ends with a little discussion of Emma's legacy.
Caveat: be warned that Emma disguises herself as a black slave on one of her spy missions and the dialogue between her and other slaves is written in the slave dialect of that time. Anyone with any sense will realize this is a simple and accurate fact of the times and will use it as a teaching moment for their kids, and won't try to get the book banned or something. In fact, both slaves and average Confederate troops are depicted as humans who were living the way they were living, and no one is demonized, as it should be in a fair book. Emma even expresses her admiration for the pride and strength of black slaves.