The Scarlet Stockings Spy

The Scarlet Stockings Spy

3.6 3
by Trinka Hakes Noble, Robert Papp

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In 1777 Philadelphia, young Maddy Rose spies for General Washington's army by using an unusual code to communicate with her soldier brother.See more details below


In 1777 Philadelphia, young Maddy Rose spies for General Washington's army by using an unusual code to communicate with her soldier brother.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This book is set in 1777 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The main character is a young seamstress named Maddy Rose. Maddy Rose lives with her mother and brother in a small brick row house near the harbor. In 1777, Philadelphia is filled with spies, loyalists and patriots. Maddy Rose traveled the streets inconspicuously in her scarlet stockings. She and her brother developed a secret code to inform the Patriots of the affiliations of ships in the harbor. Maddy Rose's father was killed in the Battle of Princeton and her brother Johnathan fought with Washington's army. The story is full of suspense, intrigue, patriotism, and emotion. It involves a young girl who loves her country and suffers great loss. Robert Papp's illustrations are remarkable. The portraits are so colorfully detailed that they resemble works of art more than pictures in a child's book. Ms. Noble is a great story teller and weaves a tale that is full of adventure and sure to capture the imaginations of old and young. 2004, Sleeping Bear Press, Ages 8 up.
—Gilda R. Daniels
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Noble's story, well told in simple descriptive language, shows both the prevalent mood of anxiety in Philadelphia in 1777, as the American colonists awaited the British attack, and the realistic side of war, the pathos of young lives lost, and the stubborn persistence and faith that helped the colonists win. Maddy Rose, the plucky young daughter of a widow whose earnings come from spinning flax, spends her days sewing seams in the linens her mother supplies to a local upholstery shop. At night, using her own hand-knit scarlet stockings and white petticoats, the girl leaves weekly signals on a clothesline, pointing out the location of suspicious ships in the harbor for her beloved brother, serving in General Washington's army. Several nights after she spies a British man-of-war, another boy comes in Jonathan's place, bearing her brother's blue coat in a bundle. After the British defeat, Maddy hangs an American flag made from that coat and her scarlet stockings and white petticoats on the clothesline. Papp is a master of portraiture. His soft, realistic, full- and double-page oils are finely detailed and appear to have been painted from live models. The action, facial expressions, and scenic detail keep many illustrations from appearing staged and static. Children with little knowledge of this period in American history will gain some background from Noble's story.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
Tales of Young Americans
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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