Top Secret Files: The Cold War: Secrets, Special Missions, and Hidden Facts about the CIA, KGB, and MI6

Top Secret Files: The Cold War: Secrets, Special Missions, and Hidden Facts about the CIA, KGB, and MI6

by Stephanie Bearce


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Poison dart umbrellas, lipstick pistols, and cyanide guns were all a part of the arsenal of tools used by spies of the Soviet KGB, American CIA, and British MI6, but you won't learn that in your history books! Learn the true stories of the Cold War and how spies used listening devices planted in live cats and wristwatch cameras. Discover how East Germans tried to ride zip lines to freedom, while the Cambridge Four infiltrated Britain and master spy catchers like Charles Elwell were celebrated. Then make your own secret codes and practice sending shoe messages. It's all part of the true stories from the Top Secret Files: The Cold War. Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781618214195
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Series: Top Secret Files of History
Pages: 125
Sales rank: 313,941
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Stephanie Bearce is a writer, teacher, and history detective. She loves tracking down spies and uncovering secret missions from the comfort of her library in St. Charles, MO. When she isn't writing or teaching, Stephanie loves to travel the world and go on adventures with her husband, Darrell.

Table of Contents


First Lightning 2

Venona 6

They Built a Wall 9

Spy Training: Venona-Style Codes 13

Spy Traning: Rocket Launch 15


The Cambridge Spies 18

Clever Girl 22

Spy Disaster 24

The Scholar Spy 29

Grandma Was a Spy 33

The Spy Who Shied 36

The Magician Spy 40

Animal Agents 44

Spy Training Ski Team Race 47

Spy Training Parachute Men 49

Special Missions

Tunnels to Freedom 52

Operation Blue Peacock 56

Last Tram to Freedom 58

Project Iceworm 61

The Race for Space 64

Operation Ivy Bells 69

The Canadian Caper 71

Girrmann Escape Group 76

Spy Training: Carrot Submarine 81

Spy Training: Glaciers Move 83

Secret Weapons

Gadgets and Gizmos 89

Spy in the Sky 89

Take Shelter 91

The Thing 95

Space Needles 98

UFOs 101

Spy Training: Flying Saucer 101 105

Spy Training: Your Own UFO 107

Bibliography 109

About the Author 117

Customer Reviews

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Top Secret Files: The Cold War: Secrets, Special Missions, and Hidden Facts about the CIA, KGB, and MI6 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Andrew_of_Dunedin More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the “Top Secret Files” series that I’ve been fortunate enough to read and review. Dedicated to “The Cold War” – a concept which author Stephanie Bearce is successfully able to convey to young readers who did not have to live through it – the book contains short stories describing spies for the West and for the East (and sometimes for both) and tales of unusual missions in the 1950s through 1970s. The book also contains a few crafts to help bring the stories to life for younger readers. Ms Bearce successfully paints a picture with words that are age-appropriate to her audience, but are also engaging to the occasional adult reader. I was familiar with some of the stories described in this book – mostly those of a biographical nature involving famed spies who were caught – but found many others new to me, especially ones about missions. What I cannot successfully evaluate is whether the book truly conveys the sensation of “two worlds” that existed during the Cold War – the book successfully takes me back to my younger days (remember “duck and cover”?) but am not sure if today’s youth will truly get that sensation after reading it. Perhaps the Cuban Missile Crisis could been included among the stories – it would have made a good yin/yang with the stories that are told about the Berlin Wall. Recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Bearce’s “Top Secret Files” series proves just how interesting history can be. With sections like: Secrets, Spies, Special Missions, and Secret Weapons, these books are jam-packed with fascinating facts that will inform and entertain any age. This latest installment includes construction of the Berlin Wall and stories of daring escapes, from tunneling under the wall to zip-lining over it. There are spies in all shapes and sizes: an 87-year old grandma, animals, and even a magician who helped train CIA operatives. There are interesting sidebars about the Bridge of Spies, Dr. Seuss’ Butter Battle Book, and the true story that inspired the movie “Argo.” The chapters are short and easily digestible, and every section includes hands-on activities. There are links to online material and lists of reference materials. TOP SECRET FILES: THE COLD WAR is an excellent addition to any home or classroom library!
This_Kid_Reviews_Books More than 1 year ago
What I Thought- I love history. I love spies. This book has both. I often am hesitant to review books on subjects I am very fond of because, I find myself being very picky on how things are presented. I was very happy with this book because I learned from it, I think it is written well for the audience it is for (8+) and I think it is very well presented. Ms. Bearce also includes activities related to the book that would be a great resource for teachers. She also includes some really cool facts about what was going on during the cold war. I was fascinated to learn that the really cool, stereotypical spy gear actually existed (well, at least some of them). That was a real eye-opener. There is really cool true stories about some of the real spies. I like how Ms. Bearce doesn’t really bias herself on which side she portraits and offers a fair assessment of both sides. This is an interesting, introduction to the history of the cold war and will lead kids to looking further into the topics covered. Ms. Bearce I think kids in the fourth grade and up would like it, but the book is suited for younger advanced readers too. *NOTE* I got this book free in exchange for an honest review
YoungMensanBookParade More than 1 year ago
Top Secret Files: The Cold War paints a picture of the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States by providing short passages about individual’s key to the dispute. It also includes experiments and fun facts that add interest to the book. My favorite parts of the work are the passages about spies from the KGB, MI6, and CIA. It’s amazing to learn that even a great-grandmother was a valuable spy for more than forty years, not just people like James Bond. All in all, I would give this book four stars. It presents history in a way that is exciting for readers, but at times it can be a bit elementary. As a result, I think this book is best suited for pre-teens, or younger teens under fourteen. That said, it’s definitely worth the read, especially if you can’t seem to make sense of the subject matter at school. Reviewed by: Ryan P., age 16 Mensa 76