Spies, Lies, & Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds that Won World War II — Review

Thought for the Day:

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
~ Thomas Mann ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Laurence MacNaughton has a terrific article HERE on Fiction University that will help you Plot Your Novel in 3 Simple Steps.

Dave Chesson has a good article HERE on Indie Reader that will give you 7 Mistakes to Weed Out When Editing Your Writing. These are largely things you know, but it is good to be reminded of them.

I wish I were better at taking advice. There is some good advice HERE from K. M. Weiland about How to Get Some Writing Done: Discipline vs. Enthusiasm.

Week 4 memeI am amazed every day how much humor there is coming out of this pandemic. I could fill this post with memes every week that make me laugh. Here is my meme of the week. I hope it makes you laugh too. I got out a new puzzle this week, but I haven’t opened it yet. I had book reviews due this week and since I got my books so late, I had a LOT of reading to do, so the puzzle will wait. But reading new books — what a pleasurable problem to have! You will be hearing about these in the future. I hope you are all staying well and finding good ways to spend your isolation time.

Spies Lies

I discovered through my years of teaching that a large number of kids claimed to not like history. That made me sad. Consequently, I always have my eyes open for books that will lead kids into a love of, or at least an interest in, history. When I saw Spies, Lies, and Disguise: the Daring Tricks and Deeds that Won World War II by Jennifer Swanson and illustrated by Kevin O’Malley available for review for the Tulsa Book Review, I knew I had to have it. Here is the review I wrote for them.

There has been a good deal written for young people about the history of World War II, of the various battles, how ships, airplanes, and tanks were moved, how decisions were made by officers running the armies. There has also been plenty about spying, but relatively little has been written for this age group about the behind-the-scenes trickery used to overcome the strong military of the Germans. The British, and to a lesser degree, the Americans used some fascinating and incredible ideas, some cooked up by famous people, to mislead the Germans. How about floating a dead body carrying plans for a fake invasion to where German sympathizers would likely find it? It worked. Or maybe use Navajo people communicating in their native language to baffle Germans with no knowledge of that unique tongue?

Jennifer Swanson

Author Jennifer Swanson has written with a surprising amount of humor about a pretty serious time in history, but it will work well to get youngsters turning the pages. Illustrated with photos and cartoony drawings by Kevin O’Malley will keep the kids interested. This is not a book for serious scholars but will be a good introduction for kids grades four to eight.

Kevin O’Malley

No giveaway this week. I donated my hardbound copy to the school library. But check back next week. I expect to have a giveaway then. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

25 thoughts on “Spies, Lies, & Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds that Won World War II — Review”

  1. Thanks for the revue. There were some creative and often brilliant tricks used to help win World War II. I know I’d enjoy reading this book and bet middle schoolers will as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for my morning laugh with your meme. And yes, needing to read is a great problem. I’ve been loving reading more during these challenging times. This sounds like a great book that has a lot of details that can bring history to life. Glad you’re donating it to the library.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Does it include reference to Virginia Hall? Astonishing woman. Just read “A Woman of No Importance” by Sonia Purnell, which is about her contributions. She was an amputee w/a wooden leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really funny meme. I think young people have a difficult time with history because it just seems too remote and unrelated to their lives. For some, history is their grandparents’ age, so farther back is “ancient history” to them. This book sounds just right for the age groups mentioned (middle grade through middle school).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds like a great book to get kids interested in history! I also love the coronavirus classic books meme! Thanks for the excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the smile. I also enjoyed reading Laurence MacNaughton’s 3 ways to plot a story. Great tips.
    I love learning tidbits of history — not all of us are history scholars — so I think that both teens and adults would enjoy reading this book and about the tricks that won the war. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Loved your meme! Be still my English major heart. 🙂 This book sounds intriguing. I saw a movie about the fake invasion plans planted on the English dead man: “The Man who Never Was.” If you haven’t seen it, it’s really good.
    I’m glad you’re keeping busy with books and puzzles. I just got myself a watercolor painting book and have been working through that as well as finally getting to all the books I have on my Kindle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a brand new watercolor kit. One of these days… I will look for the movie you mentioned. None of the streaming services I have has it, but Curiosity Stream has a show about WWII spies called “The Soldier Who Never Was.” I will check it out later today. Thanks for the tip and the comment.


  8. World War II is one of my favorite time periods to read about. Thanks for introducing me to this book as it sounds like both adults and kids would get a lot out of reading it. Enjoyed the links, especially the two on plotting and editing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have also heard kids say they hate history, and I’m like–WHAT? How can you hate history?! It’s so interesting. Thanks for this review. I’ll keep my eyes open for it… when my library reopens 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My 4th grade students do a historical fiction unit that leads most of them to researching the time period they are reading about. This book sounds like one they would gobble up. But- I am adding it to my list for me first- because I am so curios to know more about the methods used to trick the enemy during WWII. I already learned some tricks from your review and now I want to know more! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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