Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Review: Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale

Most every American can recognize the line "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country" as the final words of Nathan Hale, an American spy hung in 1776 during the American War of Independence. Any other details about his life are vague at best. This small book (written by another Nathan Hale who was born in 1976) fills in a lot of the details, especially his service during the war, in a way that's entertaining and engaging for children and adults alike. The book is a graphic novel and Hale (the 1776 one) tells his story to his hangman and a British officer who are curious about his previous life. This set up nicely enables both an American and a British commentary on events (if only television news shows were so balanced!), along with mostly jokes from the hangman. The last ten pages are a mini-comic about Crispus Attucks, an African-American who was one of the five who died during the Boston Massacre. Attucks shows up at the gallows where Hale and the two Brits discuss his life and the events in Boston prior to his death and the fallout after his demise. The best thing about the book is that it is thoroughly researched and has a section detailing the parts where artistic license was taken (or not taken, as the case may be).

Highly recommended for young and old! I will definitely read more in this series.

Sample text--the coolest bibliography ever!

Click to enlarge (and sorry about the scan flare on the right!)

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