Filigree’s Midnight Ride is excellent early chapter adventure

Filigree's Midnight Ride FILIGREE’S MIDNIGHT RIDE, by Pam Berkman, Dorothy Hearst, Claire Powell, Margaret K. McElderry Books, Aug. 27, 2019, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 6-9)

There are loads of excellent early chapter books published as of late. Among them is Filigree’s Midnight Ride, the first in the new At the Heels of History series.

Filigree is a 5-pound Pomeranian living in the American Colonies during revolutionary times. 

Filigree may be a small puff of a Pomeranian but he has a big, brave heart. As the Revere family dog, he’s ready to do his part to help the American colonists stand up to the British soldiers. But the other dogs, like Jove, Sam Adams’s Newfoundland, and even the Revere cat, Anvil, think Filigree is a joke. The Reveres’ daughter Frances is the only one who believes in him.

When Frances’s father, Paul Revere, leaves home on a secret mission, Filigree and Frances know they have to help, no matter how dangerous it might be. Will a pint-sized pup just be in the way, or can Filigree prove that even a very small dog can fight for freedom? —Synopsis provided by Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Filigree’s Midnight Ride is a delight to read. By using pets as the main characters, historical elements instantly become more accessible for younger readers. At 5, I feel like my daughter would love the book (and could read most of it with help) minus the historical aspects. My guess is that she’ll be ready for it in February when she turns 6.

Filigree’s Midnight Ride is the whole package. The writing is punchy and the story exciting. And the illustrations really bring the pooches to life. It’s exactly the sort of book that will help early readers ease into chapter books. I’m looking forward to this being one of our nightly reads, and I can’t wait for the second At the Heels of History book, Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold, about the California Gold Rush, to come out in April.

About the authors/illustrator

Pam Berkman has written books for grownups and this is her first book for kids. She loves writing about events in history and thinking about how they connect to things that are happening today. She also works as an editor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. For more information, visit her website.

Dorothy Hearst is the author of the Wolf Chronicles trilogy; Filigree’s Midnight Ride is her first book for young readers. She loves writing about canine characters, birds, and other creatures who can give us the chance to see ourselves in new ways. She is an acquiring editor, a martial artist, a self-defense instructor-in-training, an avid hiker and reader, and a dog lover. She is not entirely domesticated, but is very food motivated. Learn more at her website.

Claire Powell is an illustrator, writer, and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC, and BBC One. To learn more, visit her website.

Check out the fun facts about dogs, activities, and more on the At the Heels of History website.

© 2019, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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