Bookstorm™: Virginia was a Spy

Virginia Was a Spy

World War II spy Vir­ginia Hall was born and raised on a farm in Mary­land. Her par­ents took her abroad when she was three, awak­en­ing a life-long fas­ci­na­tion with trav­el and adven­ture. She was in France when Hitler was rec­og­nized as the threat he was. When Ger­many over­took France, she became a part of the French Resis­tance. She used the skills she learned on her fam­i­ly farm to dis­guise her­self as a hum­ble milk­maid who couldn’t pos­si­bly be a spy. All the while she was observ­ing and report­ing troop move­ments to her British and Amer­i­cans spy­mas­ters. After the war, she went on to valu­able work with­in the Office of Strate­gic Ser­vices, which lat­er became the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency. This book, and its fas­ci­nat­ing illus­tra­tions, will help read­ers under­stand the impor­tance of Vir­ginia Hall’s work and the ground­break­ing ser­vices she per­formed for Amer­i­ca and its allies.

This is a vital book for any study of World War II his­to­ry, spy­craft, code­break­ing, and women’s stud­ies. We have pre­pared a Book­storm to help lay out options for you. Age ranges are pro­vid­ed for each book, from ages 8 to adult, know­ing that some of you will want to sup­ple­ment your own knowl­edge of the dis­cus­sion sub­jects in Vir­ginia was a Spy.

In each Book­storm™, we offer a bib­li­og­ra­phy of books that have close ties to the the fea­tured book. We’ve includ­ed books, arti­cles, web­sites, and videos for a vari­ety of tastes and interests. 


You’ll find more infor­ma­tion about Cather­ine Urdahl on her web­site. You’ll find excel­lent teach­ing guide resources. Gary Kel­ly, the illus­tra­tor, can be found here.


About Vir­ginia Hall. Arti­cles and videos about Vir­ginia add to the research sources for your students.

Cheese­mak­er. Mak­ing cheese pro­vid­ed a cov­er for Vir­gini­a’s spy­ing activ­i­ties. Here are some excel­lent videos about the work of a cheesemaker.

Fic­tion Fea­tur­ing Spies. From Code Name Ver­i­ty to Har­ri­et the Spy, you’ll find a selec­tion of books for a range of ages, ide­al for inde­pen­dent reading.

Limb Loss. Her wood­en leg pro­vid­ed anoth­er ele­ment of cov­er for Vir­ginia Hall. We sug­gest more books about peo­ple who persevered.

Resis­tance Fight­ers. There are a good num­ber of books about peo­ple who resist­ed the occu­py­ing forces from Patri­cia Polac­co’s The But­ter­fly to Rus­sell Freed­man’s We Will Not Be Silent.

Spies and Spy­craft. From how-tos to biogra­phies to antholo­gies, your stu­dents will love delv­ing into these books.

World War II. Both fic­tion and non­fic­tion are avail­able for read­ers who want to learn more about the peo­ple, places, and sit­u­a­tions in “the war to end all wars.”

Let us know how you are mak­ing use of this Book­storm™. Share your ideas and any oth­er books you’d add to this Bookstorm™.

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