Brief Description: An account of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride, as well as his many activities leading up to the American Revolution, as humorously told by his horse.
Historical Era: 18th Century
Date Range: 1768-
Keywords: American Revolutionary War, Animals, Benjamin Franklin, Committee of Correspondence, Dr. Joseph Warren, First Continental Congress, George Washington, horses, John Adams, John Hancock, Joseph Rotch, Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Sons of Liberty, The Boston Port Act, the Boston Tea Party
Original Publication: 1953
Suitable for Grades: 4-8th
Target Audience: Middle Grade
Paul Revere is most remembered for his famous midnight ride to warn the citizens of Lexington and Concord that the British were on the march at the start of the American Revolutionary War. But Revere served more generally as a horseback messenger (how else to deliver messages then?) for Sam Adams’s Committee of Correspondence, an underground communications network for colonial Patriots. Who better to tell the story of Revere’s role in the Revolution than his horse?
As the story opens Lawson’s illustration shows “Sherry” (short for Scheherezade), proudly stepping in a military parade for King George III. Her rider, Sir Cedric Barnstable, is portrayed as an incompetent dunce, though Sherry is full of admiration for the efficiency and pageantry of the British operation. She is then sent across the ocean on a horrific voyage to take part in the occupation of Boston. There she encounters the (in her opinion) unsophisticated and churlish citizenry not quite welcoming the British troops.
The mare eventually ends up in Paul Revere’s possession, where she is to assist him in his messaging activities. She has a front row seat to the secret deliberations and planning sessions of the Patriots because the window of her shed happens to open out into the family kitchen. While she enjoys the company of the six loving Revere children, she is shocked at Revere’s disloyalty to the British crown. However, as she gets to know the kind Americans, her attitude changes from one of pity to an appreciation of their spirit and liberty. In a later encounter with her old British mates, and fearing recognition, she suddenly realizes “how glorious it was to be free!” She has become a Patriot!
This charming book is a wonderful way to learn about the American Revolution. The horse Sherry humorously relates her experience from the time of the British landing in Boston to the dramatic events of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. She introduces young the reader to many influential actors and dramatic events in the lead up to America’s Revolution.