Hoofed Hero

midnight-medMidnight: A True Story of Loyalty in World War I
By Mark Greenwood
Illustrated by Frané Lessac
(Candlewick Press, 2014, Boston, $16.99)

Beneath every cavalry officer is a loyal horse. The bond between Lieutenant Guy Haydon and his mare, Midnight, was particularly strong: she was born on his family ranch in Australia, and he trained her himself. When World War I began, they traveled to the Middle East, where his regiment participated in the Charge at Beersheba on October 31, 1917.

Midnight is the story of Haydon and his horse; it is also a moving biography of Midnight herself. In simple, lyrical prose, Mark Greenwood recounts the pair’s journey. Frané Lessac’s illustrations complement Greenwood’s narrative, capturing Midnight’s striking beauty, the expansive Australian high country, and the vast desert where the battle took place. The result is a gorgeous, heartbreaking tribute to the devotion that can exist between animals and humans.

-Dorothy A. Dahm

 

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