The Spy on West Street

Martha Sias Purcell


Bill and Jack are best friends. As the set off on a mission to find out if Old Man Schmidt is a Nazi spy. Bill is Mr. Schmidt's next door neighbor. Bill tells Jack all the clues he finds about Mr. Schmidt everyday. Jack is not much convinced that Mr. Schmidt's a Nazi spy. But Bill tries to tell him that he is. To find out more clues Jack goes over to Bill's house and they stay up all night staring out their window. As they stare out the widow they notice lots of things. There was also a night visitor. Read The Spy on West Street to find out if Old Man Schmidt is a Nazi spy.


The theme for this book is don't judge someone by their looks. Bill and Jack think that Mr. Schmidt is a Nazi spy. They don't know that for sure. Mr. Schmidt is just Bill's neighbor. So Bill doesn't know what he does everyday. Bill just thinks that he a Nazi spy because of the clues he finds. The clues that he finds aren't enough to know if Mr. Schmidt is a spy.

Historical Event: Nazi Spies in the U.S.

The United States was involved in World War II from 1941 to 1945. U.S. citizens worried a lot about spies on the home front. Some would keep close watch on their neighbors. Spies were sent from all over the world to different countries. The first major spy case in the U.S. was on December 2, 1938. Spies used crystal radios to communicate with others. Crystal radios were very popular during the war.

How the Author Portrayed the Historical Event

The author included the historical event good. The author showed that U.S. citizens were very worried about Nazi spies. She also did good of showing how most people would keep close watch on their neighbors. Bill kept close watch on Mr. Schmidt to find out if he really was a Nazi spy. She also showed that it was hard times for families because lots of people lost relatives and supplies were in short supply.


"Spies Caught, Spies Lost, Lessons Learned." FBI. FBI, 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 9 Jan. 2014.