Kate Messner’s Ranger in Time series features a rescue dog, Ranger, who who magically is called to other times and places to help save people. In this tale, Soldiers and Spies, Ranger helps a young black soldier in the Continental Army of George Washington. It’s winter, and battle is coming.

Ranger is hiding from contemporary Fourth of July fireworks when he hears his special first-aid kit humming. He picks it up and is transported to a dark, cold night where young Isaac loads a boat with troops to row across the river, and then loads another boat full, and another.

Not only does Isaac do a lot of rowing that night, but soon George Washington himself asks Isaac to cross the river again–as a spy.

Can Ranger keep Isaac safe?

I enjoyed this book and learned some history. It’s told partly from Ranger’s point of view, and partly from Isaac’s. Isaac in the story is a young adult, though he is pictured as younger, and I do wonder how popular this book is with middle schoolers. I learned about the plight of black men in the Continental Army–they fought, risked their lives, and then had to go back into slavery!

Four stars: ****


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@Barrie Summy

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