MIDNIGHT RIDER by Joan Hiatt Harlow


Age Range: 10 - 12
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On the eve of the first battles of the American Revolution (1774-75), orphaned Hannah Andrews’s cruel aunt, Phoebe, indentures the 14-year-old to General Thomas Gage, the British colonial governor in Boston. A spunky young woman, she has the talent of calming and riding horses thanks to a gift from her father of a steed that’s the only breathing creature she loves. Aunt Phoebe sells Promise, but to a neighbor who will play a large part in Hannah’s life. Because she’s a servant in Gage’s house, she overhears British plans and conveys them to the patriots in Boston, including Paul Revere. At the end of the story, she braves weather and rides the many miles to Salem to warn the town of a campaign to take the patriots’ munitions. What should be exciting history in this overlong narrative is harmed by weak characterization, expository information pedantically inserted into conversations, an improbable plot and an overall feeling of superficiality. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-87009-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2005


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