The Dark Game, True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko


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Experience the mystery and intrigue of spies and espionage experts who have helped and hurt America throughout history. This collection of true spy stories includes General George Washington's network that helped win the Revolutionary War, Elizabeth Van Lew's intelligence gathering during the Civil War, the incredible engineering involved in digging a tunnel into East Berlin during the Cold War, and much more. Profiles of colorful personalities, daring missions, the feats of the loyal and the damage of the traitors are interspersed with information about the technological advances that continue to change the rules of gathering intelligence.

(Book jacket excerpt from The Dark Game, True Spy Stories)

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  • Kirkus Review (August 15, 2010)
In this follow-up to Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Writing (2004), Janeczko delves further into clandestine matters with an entertaining collection of spy stories that span from the American Revolution through the Cold War. The author touches upon all aspects of spy work-counter-intelligence, double agents, espionage, gadgets, sabotage, secret codes, surveillance and training. Some of the stories have been told in greater detail elsewhere for young readers, such as George Washington's effective employment of spies to collect military intelligence, Elizabeth Van Lew's work on behalf of the Union and hot-air balloon surveillance in the Civil War. Two of the most interesting stories are about the Choctaw code talkers of World War I, not as well-known as their World War II Navajo counterparts, and the remarkably complex Anglo-American operation to tunnel into East Berlin. Interesting as the stories are, the book would be more effective if the six self-contained chapters had been tied together into a centralized narrative. Still, it's a wealth of information in an engaging package that should find an enthusiastic audience, particularly among middle schoolers. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11 & up)
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Discussion Leader- Laura Anderson
Bibliographer- Jackie Holmes
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Teacher- Jamie Goveia