Toliver's Secret

Toliver's Secret

by Esther Brady, Richard "Dick" Cuffari (Illustrator)
Publisher: Yearling
Mass market paperback, 166 pages
List Price: $7.99 Sale Price: $6.79

Ellen Toliver is shocked to learn that her grandfather is a patriot spy. Then he's injured on the day of an important mission—and she's the only one who can take his place. It's the last thing shy, timid Ellen wants to do, but her grandfather and her country are depending on her.

It seems so simple: Take a boat across New York Harbor and deliver a loaf of bread with a secret message for General Washington baked inside. Disguised as a boy, Ellen finds courage she never dreamed she had. But things don't go as planned. First Ellen finds herself on a boat full of British soldiers, and then she lands at the wrong town. As she faces each obstacle on her journey, Ellen wonders—will she ever get her message through? And will she ever see her family again?

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  From Fear to Courage
Susanna Z. of Augusta, GA, 6/15/2016
"We get over fear," said Grandfather, "by doing things we think we cannot do. These are trying times, Ellen. Many people are doing things they thought they never could do."

It requires courage and bravery to hide a secret message for George Washington from British troops, but Ellen takes the risk and in doing so, unlocks the courage she never knew she had.

One morning, ten-year-old Ellen Toliver wakes up to the greatest surprise ever. She finds out that her Grandfather is a spy who is going to take a message baked inside a loaf of bread to George Washington with the help of three couriers. When he hurts his leg, Ellen must take the journey for him with a disguise of a boy. The plan is very simple, but unexpected troubles keep stepping in front of her. No matter what the obstacle, she accepts each one with a hope that she will help her Grandfather and maybe even her country.

"Toliver's Secret" is an adventurous story, which keeps you on your toes. Throughout the book, Ellen learns about the bravery she has and needs for her journey. She uses all it takes to keep the secret that could cost her Grandfather's life. Ellen realizes that, eventually, she has to release her fears and replace them with courage.