Nurse, Soldier, Spy

March 2011


This fast-paced, high-energy picture book tells the true story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who at age nineteen disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the Civil War. She took the name Frank Thompson and joined a Michigan army regiment to battle the Confederacy. Sarah excelled as a soldier and nurse on the battlefield. Because of her heroism, she was asked to become a spy. Her story comes to life through the signature illustrations and design of John Hendrix and the exciting storytelling of Marissa Moss.

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Junior Library Guild Selection 2010

Amelia Bloomer Project’s Recommended Titles List for 2012

Nominee for the 2012-2013 Great Lakes Great Book Award

CCBC Choices 2012 List

2012 International Reading Association Teachers’ Thoices Project

California Young Readers’ Medal Nominee for 2012

Nominee for the 2014 Louisiana Readers Choice Award

Nominee for the 2014 New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award


NY Times On-Line “Nurse, Soldier, Spy” tells the fascinating story of another nonconformist, the cross-dressing Civil War hero Sarah Emma Edmonds, who, under the name Frank Thompson, joined the Union Army at age 19, becoming a battlefield nurse (“something only men with the strongest stomachs did”) and later a spy. Moss, best known for her winning middle-grade series, Amelia’s Notebook, is a lively prose writer, and Hendrix’s illustrations inject humor into what is actually a serious, if somewhat improbable, subject. Edmonds’s life story (described in an 1865 memoir, “Unsexed; Or, the Female Soldier”) will appeal to a wide range of readers – girls hungry for heroines, Civil War buffs, adventure story lovers. Read the whole review here: New York times, April 27, 2011