Beverly's Reviews > Midnight Rider

Midnight Rider by Joan Hiatt Harlow
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Nov 14, 2010

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It’s Battle of the Books Friday. Today’s title is another book recommended for the 2010 – 2011 Pikes Peak Region Battle List.

After 14 year-old Hannah’s parents die in a pox epidemic, her cruel Aunt Phoebe sells Hannah’s horse and contracts Hannah out as an indentured servant to General Thomas Gage, the royal governor of Massachusetts. Set on the eve of the American revolution, the story chronicles Hannah’s story as she struggles with her affection for some members of the Gage household while longing for her own freedom as well as freedom for the colonists. A neighbor brings the horse, Promise, to Boston where Hannah is able to sneak out of the Gage household, dressed as a boy and ride her beloved horse. During her midnight rides, Hannah takes to harassing British soldiers and eventually becomes involved in the rebel cause. Near the end of the book she rides on a dangerous mission to warn the villagers of Salem that the British will be confiscating their munitions.

Many historical figures, including Paul Revere, appear in this action-paced story. It has the potential to grip the reader and take them on a wild ride, yet falls short of doing so. A story about such a volatile time in American history should keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Somehow the tension of the historical time recounted in the story does not quite come across. It’s an ok, story but if the idea of Battle of the Books is to have students read quality children’s literature there are surely many books other than Midnight Rider, that would be bettered suited for the list.

Recommended for Grade 5- 8th.

Mrs. Archer’s Rating 3 of 5.

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