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Children's LiteratureWhile Franklin, Jefferson, and others are busily penning the Declaration of Independence, eleven-year-old Felicity Merriman becomes an unlikely ally of sorts. Like previous years, she is summering at King's Creek Plantation with her mother, siblings, and beloved horse Penny. There are two differences however: the arrival of British troops to the south, raiding and burning Patriot properties, and the arrival of Mr. Haskall, who plans to study the area's plant life for a book he is writing. Over time Felicity and Haskall form a friendship, as she shows him around the plantation, and he shows her drawings of flowers and plants. Some things, however, do not add up: his certainty that a missing horse is gone for good; his claim to have located a rare flower in a muddy area, when his shoes are spotless. Felicity's niggling doubts increase when her father's visiting apprentice gives her reason to believe Haskall is, in fact, a British spy. Reluctant to distrust Haskall, yet fearing the consequences if she does not, she sneaks into his workroom and uncovers maps of Patriot plantations, including her own. She also finds, takes, and deciphers a code which tells of a meeting the next day. Now convinced that Haskall is indeed a spy, Felicity hatches a risky plan to save the day. One of American Girl's "Felicity Mysteries," this is not only an exciting story with a smart, plucky heroine, but a thought-provoking exploration of a fascinating time in our history when there were "good people on both sides." 2006, Pleasant Company/American Girl, Ages 9 to 12.