Best Books for Children

Kate L'argent, Independent Usborne Organiser

The KnowHow Book of Spycraft

The KnowHow Book of Spycraft

Spies and detectives
The KnowHow Book of Spycraft

  • One of the first Usborne books to be published, reissued for the 40th anniversary of Usborne Publishing in 2013.
  • As used in evidence at the high court trial of Soviet spy Oleg Gordievsky, who testified that this book gave away the KGB's tradecraft.
  • The author, Falcon Travis, remains a mystery to this day.

This book is all about keeping secrets. It shows you how to
set up secret meeting places and a secret post office and how to disguise your messages and maps. It shows you lots of secret codes and signals. On the first page you will meet the Black Hat Spy. Watch out for the tricks he plays in Spy Trick – these are things real spies have done. There are messages in code all through the book - see if you can work them out.


£5.99 Add to basket

Extra information

Key Stage: KS2 E/M; Age 7+

BIC: C4L79

ISBN: 9781409562917
48 pages
276 x 216mm

Author/Editor: Falcon Travis and Judy Hindley

Illustrator: Colin King

Press reviews

It was practical to a degree that should probably have been illegal.
The Telegraph
As someone who had planned on a career in espionage from
the age of nine or so, thanks to the Knowhow Book of Spycraft
and its companion volume, the Official Spy’s Handbook – it is
no exaggeration that, for years on end, these books were my
life – my heart soared as the news that our secret services are
being urged to recruit middle aged mothers.

India Knight, The Sunday Times
Hours of pleasure for little spies everywhere.
Book Reviews for Mums
This is one of THE books for budding spies. Jam packed with code machines, disguise tips and ideas for hidden hideyholes, this book explains it all.
Booka Uhu’s Book Nook
A feast of fun, facts and fiendish spycraft skulduggery!
The Lancashire Evening Post
The ideal book for children with enquiring minds and a hint of mischief!
Creative Steps
This book places the focus very much on how much a child with a bit of imagination can do with a piece of paper and a furtive nod.
A great book full of good, clean, honest fun that will delight children and keep them entertained, both inside and out.
Book a Poet
...the perfect book for boys or girls who revel in puzzles, code-cracking and brain-taxing stuff.... brilliant fun and Colin King's fantastic illustrations remind me why Usborne books have always been a cut above the rest when it comes to interesting content and fab subjects.
Read It Daddy blog
...a fascinating book that will delight younger and older readers alike.
...can inject an awful lot of excitement and intrigue into a rainy afternoon.
Playing by the Book
A goldmine of secret tricks and disguises, the book contains messages in code throughout and is a must for any youngster who fancies trying out a spot of espionage!
This book may well be the only work of children's non-fiction to have been used in evidence at an espionage trial.
The moment [the book] arrived and I turned to the first page I was hit by a wave of nostalgia... you could do a lot worse than buy a copy for your reluctant reader son or daughter, although don't be too surprised when they start acting furtive, go through your clothes in search of disguises and add an extra potato to your weekly shopping list so that they can make invisible ink.
The Book Zone blog
A fascinating book packed with hands-on projects for children to try out - and who isn't fascinated by spies, codes and secrets? ...this would be a brilliant book to use as a theme for a children's party.
Parents in Touch

Reader reviews

The KnowHow Book of Spycraft
I used to come to England in summer to visit my relatives in the '70s. And what an exiting moment when I bought this book and began to act like a real Spy! Along with the Spy Guidebook still in my shelf, which I've now passed on to my children. Wonderful books, really!

Raffaele Fragapane, 19th February 2017