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PAUL REVERE’S MIDNIGHT RIDE by Stephen Krensky

PAUL REVERE’S MIDNIGHT RIDE

By Stephen Krensky (Author) , Greg Harlin (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-16409-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

In a departure from other Paul Revere stories, Krensky (How Santa Lost His Job, 2001, etc.) tells the tale from the perspectives of Paul Revere, British General Gage, and his commander, Lord Percy. While Revere rushes to begin his ride to warn the patriots in Concord, the British troops form lines for a review that brings an end to months of inactivity. They wanted a fight, but did not really believe the colonists would go to battle over their ideals. Under the two lights shining from the Old North Church tower, both Paul and the Redcoats made their way across the Charles River by boat. With his fast horse, Paul escaped one set of soldiers waiting on the road, and spread the word to the patriots in Lexington. Paul’s luck held even when the British soldiers captured him. They were so worried by his message that Concord had been warned that they took his horse, but set him free. The fighting at Lexington and the North Bridge are covered in two brief pages, and Revere’s life during the war in one small paragraph, but for the reader, the ride of Paul Revere, and the actions of the British soldiers on that famous night are made real. Harlin’s (Mississippi, not reviewed) watercolors marvelously illustrate colonial times, from the painstakingly detailed British uniforms and the dress of the American colonists, to the clapboard houses and the furnishings within. He uses close-ups to focus the reader’s attention and complement the words of the text. As the author describes the Regulars’ departure from the boats, the reader can see the water and mud they trudged through and easily imagine their discomfort. The front endpaper features a map showing the route of Paul Revere’s ride, and an afterword gives more background to the conflict between the colonists and England, as well as the ultimate outcome. A good introduction to the start of the Revolutionary War. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-12)