Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Greenwood, Mark. Midnight: A True Story of Loyalty in World War I.

Greenwood, Mark.  Midnight: A True Story of Loyalty in World War I.  Candlewick Press  2015  unp  $16.99  ISBN 978-0-7636-7466-3  elem  Nonfiction  E

Beautifully illustrated in colorful gouache paintings, this new nonfiction title will appeal to elementary students who enjoy animals, especially horses.  They will meet Midnight, a beautiful black horse, and her owner, Guy Hampton.  Born on a farm in Australia, Midnight was raised by Guy, and the bond they have formed has been one of friendship and loyalty.  Guy and Midnight are called to join the cavalry in World War I, but the two are separated when Guy needs to head to the Turkish coast.  After four months in the trenches, Guy and his men leave for Cairo, Egypt, where he is reunited with Midnight.  Back together, the two are next bound for battle at Beersheba.  During the battle, a bullet passes through Midnight, killing her and injuring Guy.  Students will feel Guy’s pain as he loses his horse and his best friend.

The author includes an author’s note about the real horse Midnight and Guy Haydon, bringing the story to life, along with information about the charge at Beersheba.

Elementary teachers could use the story to supplement World War I connections.  For schools who participate in Accelerated Reader, an existing test is available (AR Quiz # 174035).  
Summary: “At once sobering and inspiring, here is the true tale of a World War I cavalry soldier and his heroic horse, Midnight.”       

Horses, World War I                                         --Charleen Forba-Mayer

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