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Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of…
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Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy

by Seymour Reit

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6402724,118 (3.73)2
Recounts the story of the Canadian woman who disguised herself as a man and slipped behind Confederate lines to spy for the Union army.

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This quick story made me want to know much more about the fascinating Emma Edmonds. HOw could she have pulled off these disguises so convincingly? My two star rating is due to the fact that this is a book clearly meant for a younger reader and I don't think the author puts some of the racial commentary in the proper context for a student that does not know much about this period of history. ( )
  asomers | Sep 10, 2016 |
What a wonderful story. We see a young Canadian girl determined to stand up for her country and her people. Her only problem is that she is a woman. This did not stop her, Emma Edimonds decides to enroll in the military and fight in the Civil War as a man! She disguised herself as just that. She fooled them all and was able to fight for freedom. This book takes the readers through the good and the bad times of her courageous journey. While this book is very entertaining there are many moments where the author takes us through Edimond's hardest of times. We see the times of sorrow, loss, and fear but we also see a beautiful story with great memories made and lessons learned. The author wrote a very organized and well written story but what I liked the most is that it was written in third person. This way, we see a different perspective of the story. Edimonds is not the average woman of her time. She was a strong minded, strong willed, and strong headed woman who would not let any obstacle come between and her goal. What was surprising to me was the amount of other woman who were doing the same thing. It was estimated that there were actually around 400 women disguised as men during the Civil War. I think this book would be an excellent read for children between the ages of 9-12. ( )
  Jmreed1 | Jan 20, 2016 |
5th grade civil war biography for fifth graders ( )
  blev | Oct 19, 2014 |
I absolutely love this story. It's about Emma Edmonds, a Canadian who disguises herself as a man to fight for the Union army during the US Civil War. While in the army, working as a nurse, an opportunity arises for her alias, Frederick Thompson to cross rebel lines as a spy. He does this many times under the assumed identities of a contraband slave named Cuff, a middle aged Irish woman named Bridget O'Shea, and a Confederate sympathizer named Charles Mayberry. She is forced to desert because she got very ill and didn't want to reveal her secret. Later on after the war, she did get the honorary discharge she deserved after coming clean about her real identity. As it turns out, she wasn't the only woman who went into the army as a man. Nearly 400 women did the same things. It's a very inspirational story and is great for kids to read. It's not well-written, but the story is amazing. I would recommend that copies be kept in classrooms. ( )
  meblack19 | Mar 19, 2014 |
Imaging that you are accepted into the Union army during the civil war. This may sound daring and exciting, but think about needing to hide your identity! That was the life of Emma Edmonds, a teenage girl who disguised herself as a man to be accepted into the middle of the Civil War. Emma’s great battlefield adventures are told in the book Behind Rebel Lines by Seymour Reit. This nonfiction book describes her journey as a Union spy, and gives a great sense of what life was like during the war as a soldier and as a girl. I believe that the book Behind Rebel Lines was very inspiring because it shows Emma’s great bravery and strength in hard times.
This book displays many very important topics of the civil war. One major topic that he included was the life of a girl during the civil war. It stated that Emma was not one to sit around and watch things happen, rather than to make things happen. The main point of this book is that even in the toughest situations, Emma showed true bravery, intelligence and kindness. Emma shows her kindness in many places. For example, when Emma went to the rebel side in disguise to hear of some of their battle plans, she goes to what seems to be an empty house. Inside, she discovers there is a dying Confederate boy in one of the rooms. Instead of abandoning him like another Union spy would, she stays with him until the end. I believe this shows that even though she was serious about her orders, she would still attempt to help someone in need. Emma also strayed from one of her most important missions to send a message to someone as a Confederate soldier’s dying wish. This great book discusses many important and relevant topics of the Civil War.
This book is very organized and told from a third person point of view. In this book, the story of a young teenager name Emma Edmonds is told. Emma was born in Canada. Her father wanted her to be a boy, so she always tried her very best to impress him, and to prove herself. So, when she was just a teenager in the middle of the Civil war, she disguised herself as a boy over eighteen by the name of Franklin Thompson. After she was accepting, she was transferred to a camp in Virginia. There, she heard that her old childhood friend was also nearby in another camp, and was visiting hers. Shortly after, she hears that he took a shot to the neck and bled to death. After she received this startling news, she decided to become a soldier, so her friend wouldn’t have died in vain. From then on, she dresses up as different made up characters, including Cuff, a black slave, Bridget O’Shea, a Confederate peddler and many more. After her Union spy journey, she settles down with a man from her childhood and they had three sons. She was accepted as an honored GAR ex-soldier. She died in 1898, on September 5th.
I believe this book was a great book, and that the author achieved his purpose of writing an exciting story about Emma’s adventures. The writing was easy, and also very powerful and inspiring. The strengths of this book are the amount of information then author had to add, and the easy chronological order they were in. I believe the weaknesses of the book are its lack of quotes from her, and its lack of knowledge of where exactly everything took place. I fully agree that the author did a great job in writing this book, and that all of the information is accurate. I found this book very interesting and a fun read. This book is an easy read with simple vocabulary. I would recommend this to kids in 6th grade, specifically girls, who might relate to it better and find it much more inspiring. I would give this book 7 ½ stars out of 10 stars.
The book Behind Rebel Lines was a great, interesting book. Emma was a very inspiring historical figure in my eyes. This book left me with the impression that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. I would like to emphasize that even though she was a girl, Emma still played a huge role in the Civil War. ( )
1 vote goldfish3 | May 16, 2013 |
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