________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 30 . . . . April 10, 2015


Classified: Spies at Work. (Crabtree Chrome).

Natalie Hyde.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
48 pp., pbk., hc., pdf & html, $11.95 (pbk.), $21.56 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1397-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1335-7 (RLB.), ISBN 978-1-4271-8978-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4271-8972-1 (html).

Subject Headings:
Espionage-Juvenile literature.
Spies-Juvenile literature.

Grades 6-9 / Ages 11-14.

Review by Mark Mueller.

**** /4


A spy is someone who secretly gathers classified information. Spies get details on the movements and plans of enemies. Then they have to deliver what they learned to the government they work for. It can be dangerous. If they are caught, it can cost them their lives.


Natalie Hyde provides her readers with a fascinating introduction to the world of spies and espionage in Classified: Spies at Work. The book contains a broad overview of the history of spies and espionage, starting from Ancient Egypt all the way up to modern day computer “hackers” and “whistleblowers”. Hyde also introduces her readers to the most famous spies in history as well as the gadgetry and skills that spies use to gather information on foreign governments, terrorist organizations and major corporations. There is also a bibliography at the end of the book for those who would like to read more as well as a glossary for complex terms Hyde uses in the book.

     Classified: Spies at Work is a part of Crabtree’s series, “Crabtree Chrome”, which is designed to help reluctant and unconfident readers develop their literacy and critical thinking skills within their unique literacy context. The topics in this series are “high interest”, and the text is appropriate for struggling readers. Classified: Spies at Work is an interesting book that covers a lot of material. It is written in such a way that it would be accessible to both struggling readers and ESL students alike. I would highly recommend this book for any school library collection that is interested in developing the part of their collection that meets the unique needs of struggling readers and ESL students.

Highly Recommended.

Mark Mueller is the Education Librarian at Tyndale University College in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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