Spy Ring Sarah Beth Durst

Posted May 6, 2024 by jrsbookr in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

by Sarah Beth Durst
Spy Ring  Sarah Beth DurstSpy Ring Published by HarperCollins on May 21, 2024
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Girls & Women, Juvenile Fiction / Historical / United States / Colonial & Revolutionary Periods, Juvenile Fiction / Mysteries & Detective Stories, Juvenile Fiction / Spies & Spying
Pages: 224
Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, Tumblr

Two modern-day kids discover the truth about an American Revolutionary War–era female spy through a treasure-hunt adventure in their hometown of Setauket, New York.

With codewords and secret signals perfected, best friends Rachel and Joon are ready to spend their summer practicing spycraft—especially if they can uncover secrets like the one Joon’s parents have been keeping, that his family is about to move out of town.

When eavesdropping leads them to a ring rumored to have belonged to Anna “Nancy” Smith Strong—according to local Long Island legend, the only female member of George Washington’s famed Culper Spy Ring—they think they’ve hit the jackpot. Then they discover Nancy left a coded message in the ring!

Decoding her message leads to another cryptic clue, and then another, and soon Rachel and Joon are racing to decipher a series of puzzles that must surely lead to hidden treasure! But can they solve the final mystery before Joon’s moving day? And just what did the centuries-old spy hide away—and why? 

Sarah Beth Durst’s skillful blend of Revolutionary War history and suspenseful contemporary storytelling will keep readers guessing to the last satisfying page.


Spy Ring by Sarah Beth Durst is a middle-grade historical fiction that centers on the Culpher spy ring. The author takes a genuine group of spies and weaves a fictional story around a ring with an inscription and some numbers. Rachel and Joon are facing their last summer together as Joon’s parents have to find a new place to live and are having difficulty finding one in Setauket, New York. So, while his parents are finding a home and encouraging Joon to be a part of packing and seeing houses, Joon and Rachel follow a trail of clues that may lead to the treasure. I appreciate the author taking the time at the end of the novel to point out what is historically accurate in her story and what is added for the sake of the story. I enjoy books like this that allow us to learn something we might not have known about or knew very little about and show us that authentic history is waiting to be discovered in the places we live. One of my favorite memories growing up is school field trips to various local museums and taking my son to the small ones housed in our local area. Discovering that what you read in your history book or heard a teacher talk about is real and can be seen with two eyes is very imprinting and fascinating. This book will be an excellent addition for library teachers, especially those with a historical influence, showing that even ordinary people can choose to do extraordinary things.

About Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including THE QUEENS OF RENTHIA series, DRINK SLAY LOVE, and SPARK. She won an American Library Association Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Nebula Award three times. She is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat.

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