VOYA - Roxy Ekstrom
In fewer than one-hundred pages, this oversized biography of Paul Revere ably ambles through his life. Beginning with the arrival of Revere's father, Apollos Rivoire, in Boston, the reader paces through his early education and apprenticeship, walks through his family life, trots along during Revere's involvement with the Sons of Liberty, gallops through the famous midnight ride, and canters through his many business successes. A great deal of background information on the period is included, and the author makes good use of archival art to enhance the text. Every two-page spread has at least one illustration. One of the more interesting pieces is a copy of a bell ringer's agreement that Paul drew up when he was only fifteen. It shows that even then he was a shrewd businessman with beautiful penmanship. A nice touch is the inclusion of Longfellow's poem "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," complete with an introduction and a brief comparison of the poem and the reality of the ride. Other back material includes a time line that would serve well as an overview of the book and a section on historic sites to visit in Boston, Charlestown, Lexington, and Concord. Although the publisher is marketing this book to grades three to eight, it does not have a babyish look. The conversational tone and many illustrations create a good overview of the 1770s in Boston, making it very useful in the classroom, especially for reluctant readers or history students.
Many who hear the name Paul Revere immediately think of his famous midnight ride at the start of the American Revolution. Most do not know that was one of several rides he made to aid the cause over the years. Giblin fills us in on this fact, as well as much more about this early American, covering his life as a businessman, a patriot and a family man. The author’s writing is clear and informative, including intriguing details which pull readers into the story. One such detail is that Revere was a friend of Robert Fulton and made copper for his steamboats. Giblin has done an excellent job of selecting archival photographs, maps, engravings, and documents to help bring Revere and his time to life. He includes the text of Longfellow’s famous poem and adds commentary to separate fact from lore, while commending Longfellow’s intended purpose and its success. A timeline, a detailed commentary about Revere-related sites to visit in the Boston area, source notes, illustration credits, and an index augment the text. With this fine work, Giblin has added another interesting, well-written book to his list of exceptional nonfiction titles. The conversational tone and illustrative matter will ensure the book appeals even to reluctant readers. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 Most people know that Revere was a silversmith, brave patriot, and famed rider for the Revolution, but the author reveals his many other talents, including those as a bell ringer, businessman, cartoonist, print engraver, and even dentist. Giblin captures readers' interest from the beginning: "If things had been different, his name wouldn't have been Paul Revere. It might have been Apollos Rivoire...." He further engages children with interesting details that help create a true feeling for the time period and a deeper understanding of events. The clear writing makes the information accessible for a wide audience. The book is illustrated with numerous reproductions of archival photographs, maps, engravings, and documents that bring the history to life. A section on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the text of his famous poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," is included. This impressive, attractive addition to Giblin's award-winning work makes for enjoyable reading in its own right and is invaluable as a resource for researchers. A fascinating account of this multifaceted leader.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY
Known as "the messenger of the Revolution," Revere carried out many rides for the cause: to the seaports near Boston to alert residents that the British might try to unload their tea; to New York and Philadelphia to win support for Boston; to the First Continental Congress; to Lexington and Concord, as memorialized in the Longfellow poem of 1860; and to New England towns urging the raising of an army. Giblin packs a lot of information about the family man, businessman and patriot into a brief, attractive volume, illustrated with photographs and archival art. Clear, informative writing and an abundance of backmatter-information on Longfellow and his poem, a time line and a thorough list of historic sites to visit-are clearly meant to involve readers in further research. Useful, too, would have been a guide to other good books for young readers. Since the story of Paul Revere and the history of the American Revolution are so entwined, a short, concise volume such as this is a great starting place for young readers. (source notes, bibliography, map, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)