Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem fictionalizes Paul Revere as the sole messenger to warn of the British troops' approach. Lori Mortensen's account of the event—part of the series "Our American Story"—relays much, but not all, of the true story. For example, Revere did not suddenly become involved on April 18, 1775, as is implied in the text: "Paul Revere joined the fight. . . . The Colonists had to be warned. There was no time to lose. Paul said he would sound the alarm." In addition to his work as a silversmith, Revere had been employed since 1774 as an express rider by the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Massachusetts Committee of Safety. Revere also traveled to New York and Philadelphia with news of the Boston Tea Party, but Mortensen's retelling of that event makes no mention of his role. Regarding his famous ride, Revere was instructed to travel to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were on their way. Revere was one of three messengers, but the other two, William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, are referred to in this book only as "two other riders" and Revere's "friends." What was the name of the horse Revere rode? The romanticism of "Brown Beauty" is irresistible, but there is no conclusive evidence this was, in fact, the horse's name. Craig Orback's illustrations, particularly those rendered in the blues and grays of nighttime skies, evoke the danger and daring of Revere's task. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, and an un-annotated "More Books to Read," which lists Wadsworth's poem. Readers are also directed to FactHound, "a safe, fun way to find Internet sites related to this book," but a searchyielded no links directly relevant to this book. Reviewer: Paula K. Zeller
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5–These books introduce the people and events of the American Revolution, providing basic information as well as a short analysis of each event or person's importance. The books are illustrated with well-executed, full-page, color illustrations, maps, and photos. American Flag (which clearly states that the Betsy Ross story is a myth) and Paul Revere are more tightly focused and readable than the other two titles, which tackle subjects that are more difficult to cover in such brief texts. However, the books all provide accurate, clearly written information that students can use for either leisure reading or reports, and are good choices for introductory American history classes.
Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)
Meet the Author
Lori Mortensen is a multi-published children’s author who writes fiction and nonfiction on all sorts of subjects. When she’s not plunking away at the keyboard, she enjoys making cheesy bread rolls, gardening, and hanging out with her family at their home in northern California.