Alias Dragonfly

Alias Dragonfly

by Jane Singer

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Fifteen years old. Wanted:Dead or Alive

"Don't love a spy," warns fifteen year old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this motherless teen must move with her soldier-father from New Hampshire to Washington, DC; a city at war, packed cheek by jowl with soldiers, Rebel spies, slave catchers, and traitors of all stripes bent on waging a war of destruction against the Union, and President Lincoln himself.

Maddie's journal, written in secret, of course, begins with her arrival at her aunt's DC boardinghouse through the first year of the Civil War, a time as Maddie puts it, "full of dips and dangers," when she becomes a fearless Union spy. And then there is the mysterious, maddening Jake Whitestone, a young man who awakens something equally dangerous in Maddie: Love in a time of terror.

Civil War historian, author, and lecturer Jane Singer brings her unique voice to Alias Dragonfly. Visit her at

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611940749
Publisher: BelleBooks Inc.
Publication date: 11/11/2011
Series: Alias Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

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Alias Dragonfly 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
summerskris on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I saw that this was a book about a Union spy, I expected it to be filled with suspense and action. However, the story lags for the first half--I would not have finished this novel if I hadn't wanted to see the spy action--and then runs too quickly in the second half. Even then, it ends all too soon without much spy action. The beginning is about Maddie's dad joining the Union army and Maddie worrying about him while adjusting to life in her Confederate-sympathizing aunt's boarding house. In fact, Maddie doesn't officially meet the spies until midway into the book and even then it is mostly about her learning how to be a spy. I wanted to see more of Maddie's life and training as a spy. The novel ends before more is revealed about the rebel spy that looks like Maddie and how Maddie deals with said spy being out to kill her. It is one of the most unique plot angles to the story, and it isn't developed! I was also disappointed that there isn't as much danger to Maddie and Jake's relationship as the synopsis suggested. While I am disappointed about the lack of action as suggested by the synopsis, I did love the characters. Maddie is a fun character. She isn't just an independent-minded woman in a time when they were expected to be domestic caretakers. She is fun, witty, and has the power of photographic memory. I love her fellow spies, all of whom have unique traits, and Jake adds a sweet romantic element to the story, though their love seems to blossom out of the blue. Historical fiction lovers will love the Civil War setting. If you're an avid YA reader, however, there isn't sufficient plot development, and the story ends before it feels like the story is over.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
STARSI love how brave Maddie and everyone who was risking their lives for their beliefs no matter what side of the war they were on. Maddie story kept me riveted did not put the book down till it was through.At the ending are a bunch of study guide questions that help you to think more deeply. After that is a list of which characters are based on real people. Plus their is a list of books about different subjects of the civil war era.Maddie was 15 at start of the war. Her mother had died just months before that and her father inlisted in the second New Hampshire Infantry Regiment as a private. Maddie was taken to Washington D.C. to stay with her Aunt at her boarding house.Maddie could remember everything she saw she wanted to join and fight with her father but no one would let her. While she was out in the city she noticed one of her Aunt's boarders from the south was dressed as a preacher in disguise outside of a famous Rebel's house of Rose Greenhow.Because she impressed Mr. Webster of her observations she recalled he introduced her to Mr. Pinkerton where she was tested and than trained as a spy.I hope their are more adventures of Maddie to come in the future. I will gladly read them. It gives you glimpses of what life might be like at that time. Different family members choosing different sides of war to support. Slaves trying to get to freedom and slave traders willing to kill them. Even different cemetaries for black and white. How quilts hanging could tell a message or doll wearing different colors in a window.
eternalised More than 1 year ago
Original plot, but predictable every now and then. Maddie is a likeable protagonist, and the setting was unique and entertaining and historically correct, as far as I can say. The ending is a bit abrupt though, and slightly dissapointing. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am going to tell you a story of Maddie, she live with her Dad and then the time this take affect is when the war was going between the north and the south.Lincoln wanted me to fight and her dad said honey i got to go and fight and try to win.Well Maddie lost her mom when she was 6 so all she had was dad and then now she going to Washington City to live with her dad sister. Maddie has not been in the city long till she go to look for her dad she thinks she can find her dad and then tell him she love him and wants him back.Someone followed her and then she let him help her find her dad and then were he was at .But now a surprise is coming now she become a spy. Maddie see a lady riding a horse or was it a lady but the person was giving the army stuff she should of not giving them so now she is taken to place and then she is train as spy you see she can see thing and hear thing other can not they do not think a kid would do it.She is train and then now she going to become a baby sitter to little girl who the government think she will spy for any one . Why is there a doll in the window who is the lady who put her hair up under the hat.The book is a great read and then the girl will take you through time and then the war and what is going to happen i love the book and will post it allover
ClaireFrith More than 1 year ago
Jane Singer is a a Civil war historian, who has taken all her knowledge and written a fantastic novel out of it. Alias Dragonfly is about a girl name Maddie Bradshaw, a 15year-old girl, who remembers everything. Her mother is dead, her dad signed up for the Civil War, and she had to stay with her horrible Aunt at her boardinghouse. Maddie, unwilling to lose her father, ends up on a mission to find him and stay with him, a mission the turns out to be spying for a man name Mr Pinkerton. Along the way, she learns new skills and make new friend, and tests the boundaries of just how far she is willing to go. This book was an easy and fun read, and I can't wait to see what Jane will do with the next book. The next book in the series will be, according to Jane Singer's website blog, called Alias Sparrow Hawk, and appears to have not set a release date yet.
CiccioNY More than 1 year ago
Alias Dragonfly is a great teen read. It is full of insight, civil war history, and the most fascinating character, Maddie Bradford - a young girl, with an energetic craziness, and a photographic memory who decides that the one thing she can do in the war is serve her country and become a spy for the Union Army of Mr. Lincoln. Kudos to the author, Jane Singer, who is a a natural storyteller; she delivers the real deal in Maddie's secret life of a spy --in actual settings where the Civil War took place. "Don't Love a Spy", Maddie Bradford implores in her diary...well I fell in love with this Spy, and her terrific story!