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Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady

Toliver's Secret (edition 1993)

by Esther Wood Brady (Author)

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869419,176 (3.78)3
During the Revolutionary War, a ten-year-old girl crosses enemy lines to deliver a loaf of bread containing a message for the patriots.
Title:Toliver's Secret
Authors:Esther Wood Brady (Author)
Info:Yearling (1993), Edition: Reprint, 176 pages
Collections:Your library

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Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady


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An unlikely story but a cute one nonetheless, Toliver's Secret is about a girl in New York during the Revolutionary War who finds that in a pinch, she can do more than she thought she could. This was a quick middle-grade read. I'll have to see what my eleven-year-old thinks when he finishes reading it. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Oct 1, 2020 |
Toliver's Secret by Esther Wood Brady is a sweet, engaging, and lovely story, and it's a great example of quality historical fiction for children. It's a perfect introduction to the Revolutionary War for young readers, and it clearly and accessibly portrays the events of the start of Washington's New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776.

When 10-year-old Ellen Toliver's grandfather is injured, she's saddled with the daunting task of carrying a secret message for the Patriots. Disguised as a boy, she embarks on an exciting journey fraught with unexpected trouble and danger. Through it all, she rises to each impossible challenge, uses her wits and will to find a way through, and learns life-changing lessons about herself along the way. Set in New York City and New Jersey in December of 1776, this sweet story imagines one fictional girl's part in supplying intelligence to General Washington leading up to his successful and vital strike across the Delaware.

I really enjoyed this book, and I was so impressed by its quality - something I was not fully expecting when reading a book that I read only once before, a few years ago - even if I liked it very much. I'm so glad I recently reread it, especially since I remembered almost nothing about the story. I dearly love good Revolutionary War historical fiction books, and I'm glad I've encountered this one. It's a wonderful book.

Toliver's Secret has a likeable, brave, and cheerful heroine; a vivid and engaging writing style; a skillful, exciting plot; well-developed, lifelike, and compelling characters; sweet family and friend relationships; entertaining and fascinating adventures; and wholesome, heartwarming themes and messages. The plot was quick-paced and exciting, and I loved the author's addition of so many obstacles and so much conflict. I loved Ellen, the protagonist, in particular, and I was so impressed by her powerful character arc, as she learned lessons and grew in many ways. The themes and messages were wonderful, though they were a bit too obvious at times. Ellen learns valuable lessons about the meaning of true courage, the duty of doing hard things even when they feel impossible, the importance of standing up for oneself and speaking out when necessary, and her own ability to excel and overcome insurmountable difficulty.

I enjoyed the delightful interior illustrations by Richard Cuffari, as a sweet bonus to a lovely book.

I recommend this book heartily to all readers of children's historical fiction, young and old alike. Elementary and middle school-aged readers are sure to enjoy it, and it would make a great read-aloud and teaching tool. I'll definitely be reading it again someday, and sharing it with children I know. I'm rating it a solid 4 stars, and it's a wonderful book, even if it's not one of my top favorites. ( )
  Aerelien | Mar 23, 2020 |
I really enjoyed this book when I was younger! Definitely a great read for children 8-14. ( )
  SarahGraceGrzy | Oct 2, 2018 |
wow! i liked this book. "toliver" was very brave and took lots of risks!
and even when it was hard she got through it. and she was all alone
with only british soldiers every where she went! ( )
  the.jenna.bean | Mar 15, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
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During the Revolutionary War, a ten-year-old girl crosses enemy lines to deliver a loaf of bread containing a message for the patriots.

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Average: (3.78)
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