Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy

Written and Illustrated by Nathan Hale

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Scheherazade meets American History. Nathan Hale, the spy is able to put off his execution, whetting his interlocutors’ interest with the promise of more tales to come.  

“Are you a ghost?” the hangman asks him.

“Did you hang me yet?”


Although the title of the book is One Dead Spy, this story does not end with the death of the spy. He lives to tell another tale, and we readers look forward to more books in the series.

The comic book format, manages to impart a great deal of history. In the back matter, the author assures us that the information is at least 76% accurate. We speak of historical facts, but not every event is documented in detail. Nathan Hale and Henry Knox could well have been friends: the author introduces the reader to the concept of artistic license.

A comic book is fun to read. Second grade readers will love the format, and the interesting characters and events. Knox the Ox getting the guns to George Washington, and the fort that moved up the hill are stories told with heart that will stay with them forever. The major players in the early part of the war are introduced through the story and through the biographical information in the back matter.

A fascinating way of introducing history to the young reader. The book is beautifully produced and sturdily bound. A worthwhile addition to any reading list.

Additional resources:

Nathan Hale, Author:

Nathan Hale, Spy:

Timeline of the Revolutionary War:

The Declaration of independence:

  • One Dead SpyTitle: Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy
  • Author: Nathan Hale
  • Illustrator: Nathan Hale
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Hardback:  128 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1419703966
  • Genre: Nonfiction/ US History

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