Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book Review; Secrets, Lies, Gizmos and Spies, by Janet Wyman Coleman with The International Spy Museum (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006)

Recommended for ages 9-12

Kids like spies. Spies are cool, after all. James Bond is suave and rocks the coolest gadgets in the world, and Chuck is a computer store geek turned international man of mystery. There was Agent Cody Banks, and there are the Spy Kids movies. Fast food restaurants have give spy toys away as prizes in their kids' meals. The romantic mystique of the spy appeals to all ages.

Secrets, Lies, Gizmos and Spies, written in conjunction with the International Spy Museum, is a visual history of spying. There are photos and artifacts, with the stories of real-life spies from all over the world and throughout recorded history. The book provides key terms and timelines and even an imagined interview with George Washington using actual quotes from the first President with regard to his spying operations during the Revolutionary War. The book has beautiful color and black and white photos on every page, and will interest both boys and girls interested in adventure or history.

The International Spy Museum's website offers the usual museum fare including membership and ticket information. They also have a podcast (with new episodes roughly every two weeks) and a blog, both with RSS feed capability. They offer birthday parties, school field trips, and Spy City Tours where visitors will be briefed by former intelligence officers and learn how to be a master of disguise.

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