Filigree’s Midnight Ride

S. & S./Margaret K. McElderry Bks. (At the Heels of History). Aug. 2019. 192p. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781534433328; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534433335.
Gr 2-4–A Pomeranian named Filigree narrates the events surrounding Paul Revere’s famous ride in this tale. Revere rescues Filigree after his previous owner, a Loyalist, is forced by her husband to leave Boston. He gives the dog to his daughter Frances hoping Filigree will aid in her recovery from an illness. Other dogs belonging to Patriots, the Reveres’ cat, and a horse belittle Filigree because of his breed and his former Loyalist ties, yet he persists in demonstrating that he supports the Patriots. With spot-on pacing and levity, Berkman and Hearst engage readers and communicate the seriousness of Revere’s mission. Powell’s black-and-white illustrations convey the action from the text well, and the expressions she creates for both the animals and the humans provide additional humor. Filigree’s character, though plucky from the beginning, struggles with his self-confidence. As Mr. Revere and the other Patriot dogs see his determination and ability, Filigree’s confidence increases. Chapters are about 15 pages in length and use a large font with wide margins. The authors explain how their story and the historical account of Revere’s ride differ and elaborate on their research process in an authors’ note. They also include information about slavery during the colonial period.
VERDICT This first in a new series is fun and accessible for readers who aren’t quite ready for Alison Hart’s “Dog Chronicles.”

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