Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution


What does it take to be a spy?   A good secret code and clothes hanging out to dry!  In this biography of a woman who used courage, ingenuity, and even her laundry to support the American rebels during the Revolutionary War, we see the risks undertaken by unexpected people in the fight for freedom.

  Anna Strong’s story is told with lively images that show her colonial upper-class life on Long Island where she is hidden “in plain view,”  watching the movement of British ships, interacting with occupying British soldiers, AND sending secret messages to General Washington. 

Readers not only learn about Anna’s bravery, but also learn the code used by the nation’s first spy network, the Culper Ring, with key words and code numbers sprinkled through the illustrations. 

An extended list of code words can be found at the back of the book as well as a recipe for invisible ink, so readers can create their own spy network.  How will you get your secret messages out without being caught?  Anna Strong’s story will inspire kids who love history and action.

40 pages                  978-1419734199               Ages 5-10

Keywords:  biography, narrative nonfiction, women, American history, girls and women, American Revolution, codes, spies, courage, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old

Recommended by Jean Boone, Librarian, Maryland USA


The thrilling true story of the female spy who helped save the American Revolution

Anna Smith Strong (1740–1812) was a fearless woman who acted as a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Recruited by Washington’s spymaster, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, she joined the Culper Ring, a group of American spies. General Washington placed a huge amount of trust in his spies, and Anna helped pass him important messages at a great risk to herself and her family. One of her cleverer devices was to hang laundry on the line in a planned fashion so that other spies could read the “message.” Had she been discovered by the British, she would have faced jail or execution. Thrilling and dramatic, Anna Strong tells the story of how one brave woman helped change the course of American history. The book includes an author’s note, a bibliography, an index, and a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.---from the publisher

40 pages                  978-1419734199               Ages 5-9

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