Spies, Codes, Capers, Gadgets, and Classified Cases Revealed

By: Crispin Boyer and Suzanne Zimbler

Published: April 6, 2021

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


When we meet someone new or a new family moves into the neighborhood, what is the first thing we might do? Google them! We are essentially “spying” on them, finding out information about their past or what they are doing now. Movies sensationalize secret agents, the CIA, intelligence agents, and secret service which makes kids even more interested in what being a spy is all about.

This oversized book with nearly 200 pages of historical details, technology and gadgets, the science and engineering behind hiding messages and people, and the real people that kept secrets will fascinate and intrigue kids for hours.

Right away, the authors make kids feel like they are spies by inviting them into learning about classified facts, assassins, bodyguards, truths behind conspiracies, and finally teaching them how to be spies themselves.

I think kids, especially girls, will be shocked to learn one of the most dangerous spies during WWII was a woman with a limp. She was given the name “The Limping Lady” and was sought after in all of Europe. Parents if you are interested, I recently read a fictional account of the life of Virginia Hall which was quite fascinating, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN by Erika Robuck.

You may be adding some must-see locations to your next vacation including the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico, or Fort Knox, Kentucky. When kids hear the saying, “Your secret is as safe as Fort Knox,” they will know that no one is finding out about that secret. It will be safeguarded to the extremes.

Besides all the learning that happens, there are also ways to engage kids in their own secret agent activities included in the book. For example, how to create your own scavenger hunt, how to create invisible ink, and how to create your own disguise.

Because kids love all things poop-related, they will love learning about the Doo-Doo Transmitter. Radio transmitters and canisters with secret messages were camouflaged as chunks of doo-doo because they knew no enemies would dare touch them. Then they can learn about five new secret inventions that are currently in progress that have nothing to do with doo-doo, but a lot to do with technology.

The best part about this book for kids is the riddles the author put inside each chapter. Kids will have to decode and decipher the riddles hidden in the messages for each chapter. Of course, if they can’t figure them out, the answers are in the back of the book, but being their own decoder while reading makes the experience even more fun.

If you have a child who is into all things spy-related, this jam-packed book is perfect for giving them all the background and history along with new technology to become the best spy they can be. There will be no more secrets in your house as your child will be able to figure them all out!

To purchase a copy of TOP SECRET, click the photo below:

Summer Read-to-Learn

All summer I’ll be sharing books for kids of all ages on topics that will interest them or offer them a new interest to learn about. Most of the time these will be nonfiction books, but sometimes we can learn how to be better people or learn empathy from fictional stories too.

So, I hope you will stay tuned to these posts. They will always have Summer Read-to-Learn in the title and in the tags. There will be books from some of my favorite publishers like National Geographic, plus, some from independent publishers. See them all, HERE.

Other posts you might like:

Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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