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Johnny Tremain

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  32,576 Ratings  ·  1,840 Reviews
This story of a tragically injured young silversmith who ends up hip-deep in the American Revolution is inspiring, exciting, and sad. Winner of the prestigious Newbery Award in 1944, Esther Forbes's story has lasted these 50-plus years by including adventure, loss, courage, and history in a wonderfully written, very dramatic package. It's probably not great for little guys ...more
Paperback, 1976 Reprint, 250 pages
Published 1965 by Penguin Books: A Peacock Book (first published 1943)
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Shaine Collier it took me so long to read this book because i kept falling asleep to the most boring book ever it so boring even a sloth wouldn't read this i mean…moreit took me so long to read this book because i kept falling asleep to the most boring book ever it so boring even a sloth wouldn't read this i mean come on it should have more blood in it like hunger games(less)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 17, 2007 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every living human
Probably the greatest book ever written, by both man and child, woman and other writing entity, Johnny Tremain tells the story of a young genius who becomes a silversmith and burns the crappin' hell out of his hand. He's always embarrassed by his sort of melty hand and keeps it in his pockets or in his mother's pies and pie type dishes. One day he meets a girl named Cilla, Priscilla for long, who loves him despite for his sick melt-hand. Paul Bunyan or John Tubbers or whichever is the name of th ...more
Aug 19, 2007 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"wah, I was born rich but I grew up poor. wah, I burned my hand."
Jul 08, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know this is perceived as being a "kid's book", but I think that it is a story any adult would enjoy. Johnny Tremain takes place in pre-revolutionary Boston and is about a prideful (but slowly improving) boy who finds himself in the center of the independence fervor. Although I obviously cannot be sure of how accurate the descriptions are, I appreciated the book for doing such a great job at taking me back to the colonial era of American history. As Johnny Tremain struggled with adversity, his ...more
Apr 07, 2009 Nicole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book!!!! if u read this book you will become boring and old!
this book pulls you into a wrinkled old time of so-called "action"!!! i could have
found more action by going to a retirement home and watching the 900 year old people play bingo!!!!!! i of course was forced against my will to read this,
otherwise, i wouldnt go spitting distance of it!!!! if you enjoyed this book
(mr.flegar) then you are boring old!! do not read this thing! it's a plague!
save yourselves!!!!!!!!
Beesan Sarsour
Apr 02, 2009 Beesan Sarsour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definetly not the greatest book ever written. Pretty terrible actually!! Didn't like it at all. Expected it to be better and i'm very dissapointed. It was very hard to understand what was going on im each chapter and I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Mar 05, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
If I were a children's book writer, this is exactly the kind of book I'd love to write. It has mystery, suspense, romance, history, coming-of-age, overcoming personal and physical problems; gosh, it has it all.

I've always wanted to read this book, just never got around to it till now. If your child is studying Revolutionary War times in history, this would be a great literary supplement to that history lesson. It brings the history of that time to life.

Including, but not limited to: One if by la
Kellyn Roth
I read this book with my family for school. It was really good, although the ending was bittersweet and there were a few loose ends I felt needed tying up.

I loved the little backstory/mystery with the Lytes (I think I'm spelling that right!). Cilla and Rab were my favorite characters, although I liked Johnny despite his imperfections. It was great to see him grow. Also, I loved Goblin (no, it's not silly to have a horse as your favorite character).

It was cool how some of the British were portray
Jun 15, 2007 jacky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jacky by: some educated adult
I hated this book when I read it in middle school (?). I had to choose a historical fiction book and I believe the librarian recommended this one. I found it terribly boring when I read it. Looking back now, I probably wasn't very open minded about reading something I wasn't really interested in, like most kids.
I liked this book a lot! I have read it a couple of times. Don't listen to all of the horrible reviews! This is a great classic and I highly recommend it to anyone. :)
I have long believed that when I need some 'light' reading, good children's literature beats pulp fiction every time. This was entertaining, taught me a few new words (a graving dock) and gave light nourishment like a steaming bowl of soup. It satisfied and made me glad I read it when I was done.

Esther Forbes won me by page 55 when I read this sentence: 'Spiritually Johnny shrugged, determined to be neither over-impressed nor envious.'

I was struck by the autodidactical aspect of Johnny's practic
Feb 21, 2009 Cameron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jayna Homer
As an apprentice to a silversmith, Johnny sees great success and is a good worker. But he suffers from an accident which results in serious burns, leaving his thumb attached to his hand – promptly ending his career as a silversmith apprentice. After searching for new work to do, Johnny comes across a printing shop where Rab works for his Aunt and Uncle. So Johnny becomes a rider for the “Boston Observer.” Also, he takes part in the Boston Tea Party, and uses his skills to spy against the British ...more
If I'm not mistaken this is yet another book ruined by the same awful teacher who ruined a bunch of other books. Oh well.
Maybe I bought a copy of this at the U.S.S. Constitution gift shop in Boston this weekend. MAYBE I DID. AND MAYBE I DON'T CARE IF YOU KNOW IT!
I remember loving this book years (or decades?) ago in elementary school and given that it is set in Boston on the eve of the Revolutionary War, it was a perfect choice for a family road trip from Boston to Cape Cod. The title character, Johnny Tremain, is an apprentice to a mediocre silver smith. Due to an accident while pouring silver on the Sabbath, Johnny's hand is maimed and he is forced to take a more menial job delivering the town newspaper. Through the newspaper Johnny gets swept up with ...more
Certainly the first historic fiction I ever read because it was the first book I read myself. Whetted my appetite for more.

Having moved many times as a child, I was functionally illiterate. (I faked reading by memorizing the Dick and Jane stories at school.) My mother enrolled me in a summer reading program which taught phonics. (Contrary to the Wikipedia entry, most schools did not teach phonics in the mid-20th century.) Wow.

I picked Johnny Tremain (Probably not this edition) from the library a
As she recounts the life experiences of twelve-year-old Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes skillfully conveys the excitement, danger and commitment experienced by the patriots who fought during the US Revolution. Many of the characters in this account are accurately portrayed and described—including several of those who helped write the Declaration of Independence. Reading this book cannot fail to make this time period truly understandable and alive.

Unfortunately the length and language discourage t
Willowy Whisper
May 17, 2016 Willowy Whisper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, it was a couple years or so ago that I read this book (I feel like all my most recent reviews start out with like this...). But anyways, I remember that I loved the book (and that the movie was a little bit of a disappointment). Johnny Tremain was very lovable, and if I remember right, there was a young little romance between him and Cila (was that her name?). Some of the parts were so heart-wrenching, and some were so wonderful that I'm pretty sure I went back to slowly re-read and soak ...more
Jul 22, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school
I feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the good ole' US of A. The Revolutionary War era has never appealed to me, so I haven't read many historical fiction books set in that time. Now I really want to read more! Johnny Tremain was packed with historical detail, and I savored every word. It was empowering and page-turning. The mystery and friendships were so well-written. I will definitely be stuck somewhere in Johnny's world for a while.
Jan 25, 2008 Waffle...♥ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Humans! :O
Wow it's so touching! I really LOVED how it ended completely! But I wish the author continued more with Cilla... haha gotta love romance. Overall it was great! I loved the details and it was like I was back in that time... being one with Johnny Tremain! HaHa sorry just trying to describe what I feel... sorta like, when I'm reading this book! :O Well I don't think much of my friend's would enjoy reading this book but I certainly have. Maybe... *cough* insane Helen did but she's insane so xP
Liv Fisher
Dec 22, 2015 Liv Fisher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: assigned
I read this in eighth grade or so for school. The beginning was pretty entertaining, but as the story went on, it got less exciting. (view spoiler) I don't remember much else, other than that.
Elaine Cooper
Jul 17, 2012 Elaine Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was very small, I watched the Disney movie version of Johnny Tremain and the single memory that stands out in my mind is the tune from the song, “The Sons of Liberty.” Now that I am an adult and study the American Revolution for my own historical fiction books, I decided it was time to read the original book called Johnny Tremain written in 1943 by Esther Forbes. I’m so glad that I did.
Although it is considered a novel for young adults, this older adult reader was highly caught up in the
Apr 02, 2009 Iman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
this book is bad because i dont like historic books cause i think history is boring
A classic of historical fiction that masterfully weaves themes of American revolutionary patriotism and sacrifice for freedom with those of maturity and coming of age from boy to man.
Jul 18, 2013 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Recommended for: Ages 10 to Adult

Rating: PG (injuries and some war)

Reading reviews of Johnny Tremain, I've come to realize that people either love it or hate it. I personally don't understand how anyone could hate it. Because, well, I would say Johnny Tremain is one of, if not the, top favorite ever historical fiction book I've read.

First off, I love that it's about the American Revolution. I just love that period of history. It is so important to our country, and so many amazing things happened
James Ackley
So there is a boy named Johnny Tremain who is a silversmith apprentice to Mr. Lapham. He is the leader of all the apprentices that work under Mr. Lapham. The story is about how he has to deal with his messed up hand and how he fights against the British.

So Johnny is working on a project for John Handcock on a Sunday (a silver vase), trying to get some extra work done even though he’s not supposed to work on a Sunday. Johnny ends up burning his hand and he makes it so he can’t use it anymore. So
Apr 07, 2008 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny what you remember in a book. I read this as a child, and all I recalled was one of the last scenes of the book...a very touching, startling scene. I didn't realize how much I had blocked out--except for this one event--until I was actually reading it again at the end. Not remembering actually allowed me much enjoyment of rediscovering the characters and the new tenor of humanness I could now more fully understand as an adult.

It's a great read, and very enjoyable to the one who likes histor
Mar 15, 2016 Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_to_kids
I give this book high marks not because it's well-written. (I would argue that it's more than a bit clunky at times, and the author's frequent use of metaphor can lead to confusion -- particularly when one is reading the book aloud, as I was.) I give this book high marks because it serves as an excellent snapshot narrative of the start of the American Revolution. I have no reason to doubt that the author knew her stuff. (She won a Pulitzer Prize for Paul Revere and the World He Lived In .) If y ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Rose
Jul 25, 2013 Elizabeth Rose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've actually been reading my way slowly through this wonderful book since mid-June, as I've used it as an accompaniment to a class I'm teaching on the American Revolution. I've devoured big pieces of Johnny Tremain in the past, but never have I read it properly from cover to cover, as it really ought to be read, until now. In every sense of the phrase, this book has it all. Courage, conviction, some tragedy, living history, a bit of sweet sentiment, unforgettable characters like Rab, Cilla, and ...more
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Children's Books: The Medal Winner from 1944 - February 2016 - Johnny Tremain 23 43 May 04, 2017 09:15AM  
johnny tremain 4 45 Dec 13, 2014 06:07PM  
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Esther Forbes was born in Westboro, Massachusetts in 1891, as the youngest of five children. Her family roots can be traced back to 1600s America; one of her great-uncles was the great historical figure and leader of the Sons of Liberty, Sam Adams. Her father was a probate judge in Worcester and her mother, a writer of New England reference books. Both her parents were historical enthusiasts.

More about Esther Forbes...

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“We give all we have, lives, property, safety, skill...we fight, we die, for a simple thing. Only that a man can stand up.” 33 likes
“How old are you Johnny" she asked.
And what's that-a boy or a man?"
He laughed. "A boy in time of peace and a man in time of war.”
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