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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  2,517 Ratings  ·  566 Reviews
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America's first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.
The N
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Hardcover, 337 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Flash Point
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Mara
If you’re wandering around Saratoga National Park, you might come across an odd sculpture of a boot/leg with a cryptic dedication:
In memory of the "most brilliant soldier" of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of BORGOYNES GREAT WESTERN REDOUBT 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.
You might think that it was some sort of twisted riff on the Tomb of the U
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Jim
Jan 03, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was great. Arnold is simply a footnote, The Traitor, an expression, but never a real person. His heroism has been lost due to his treachery. But who was he? How could he go from one of the most heroic figures of the Revolutionary War to the most despised? Why would he have done that? This book makes no apologies for Arnold, but it does give a good accounting of the whole man. A few times, it was a bit simplistic in explaining situations, but I think that enhanced rather than detracted. Ther ...more
Penny Johnson
Forget this is a nonficton book. Think of it rather as a swashbuckling adventure novel! It would make a great movie! Picture Benedict Arnold as the reckless, anti-authority hero who gets himself into a lot of tough situations but always manages to get the bad guy in the end. (I'm thinking of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films or Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon films. Old examples, I know, but hey, I'm a grandmother!)

This book was a finalist for the 2012 YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction
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Christine
Jul 13, 2012 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jf-ya, non-fiction
This is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I have read in quite some time. It is the story of a true American hero, patriot, and General who betrayed his country. The writing is action packed and engrossing. Highly recommended.
Jimmy
Dec 16, 2013 Jimmy rated it really liked it
I am reviewing this book from the perspective of the Christian worldview.
For most American, no name symbolizes betrayal and treason like the name Benedict Arnold. Yet for most people, no other historical details usually accompany the name besides the fact that he lived during the Revolutionary War and eventually sided with the British. This book is an excellent read of the story of Benedict Arnold and the author wrote it in a narrative form that feels like a novel. Halfway into the book my mind
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Emily
Dec 04, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
I loved this book, it was a great read and I got through it very quickly and was disappointed at the end because I didn't want it to end. The author did an excellent job and not only told Arnold's history but also took you into his mind and gave you a feel for why Arnold turned.

At the beginning of the history I found it hard to believe this was the man who would betray his country. He was loyal to the colonies and defiant to the crown, refusing to pay taxes and joining up right away when the co
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Barb
I was looking for some books to read with my ten year old daughter when I came across this one. I was interested in learning something about Benedict Arnold, I recently stumbled across the fact that he was a brave soldier of the Revolution before his error in judgment and fall from grace.

I was impressed with Steve Sheinkin's writing style and thought he did an excellent job of portraying Benedict Arnold as a human being with strengths and flaws. I really didn't know much about Arnold and now tha
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Edward Sullivan
Benedict Arnold is a fascinating character and Sheinkin brings him vividly to life in this lively, informative and quite engaging portrait. This is a biography written specifically for a teenage audience but any adult reader who enjoys a gripping, good story with a compelling character will enjoy it, too. I certainly did!
Ken
Aug 10, 2012 Ken rated it really liked it
Good nonfiction for young adult readers is harder to come by than good fiction. Like cavalry over the hill, then, rides The Notorious Benedict Arnold, a book whose ending we know before we start -- but will the kids? I suppose it depends on the curriculum, when they get American history, and to what extent. But even for veterans like me, the book offers details either forgotten or never known.

Benedict Arnold couldn't get out of his own personality's way. His father of the same name, a drunken d
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Sophia
Jan 07, 2014 Sophia added it
- The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin.
- The main character in the book is Benedict Arnold. Benedict was born in Norwich, Connecticut, and died in London, UK. He spent his childhood causing mischief in the town he grew up in, and he spent most of his adulthood fighting in the American revolution.
- The story mainly takes place in Connecticut, New York, Canada, and London. When Arnold was just a boy, he often caused trouble in his town. This persisted until he went to work as an appre
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Kathrina
Apr 02, 2013 Kathrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-bios, history
Ostensibly, this book is for young adults, but anyone who isn't interested in reading 400 dense pages of details will enjoy this swift, engaging account of an American personality we all recognize by name, but few of us can describe. Take a look at some of the reviews here, and you'll find lots of younger readers who expected not to like this, but found Sheinkin's writing so compelling that they forgot they were reading history. I came to this book after reading Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal ...more
Philip
I picked this up because I was so captivated by Steve Sheinkin's other book: Bomb: The Race to Build -- And Steal -- The World's Most Powerful Weapon. It is very rare when I'll read a book, and then rush out and see what else the author wrote.

It's rarer still when I award 5 stars to two books in a row.

I knew very little about Benedict Arnold. I knew he was a traitor who had been a war hero. I also knew he liked his eggs a certain way - with Hollandaise sauce or something. (Just kidding. I'm not
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Julie Williams
Jun 25, 2013 Julie Williams rated it really liked it
This book discusses the life of Benedict Arnold from his adventurous youth, to his quest for importance and wealth, through his success and disappointments during the Revolutionary War, and to his failed attempt to end the war with Britain by allowing the British to overtake West Point and capture Washington. Sheinkin does a good job of revealing the possible motives of Arnold and talking about his accomplishments that are often overlooked in our national disdain. The author also parallels the s ...more
Kylie
Feb 18, 2013 Kylie rated it it was amazing
I read this one for my YA class. It is obvious the author is passionate about and partial to Benedict Arnold, which at first made me doubt his scholarship. That plus the fact that it lacks in-text documentation. But, this is nonfiction for teenagers, so apparently that is not needed and you can tell from his bibliography notes at the back that the book is thoroughly researched. Ultimately, I think I like knowing an author's bias up front. Then I don't spend the whole book trying to guess what th ...more
Hannahlily
Feb 16, 2011 Hannahlily rated it it was amazing
Reread 5/16: Possibly my favorite biography of all time. It's just so crazy and outlandish: insanely fun to read, yet one of the most needlessly, ridiculously tragic personal tales in American history. Sheinkin includes so many details and quotes, but it never feels bogged down or slow. Most of all, though, I don't think I could understand anyone who isn't at least a little bit in love with John André.


2/11: Detailed, unbiased, and informative, yes, but, first and foremost, this is one heck of a
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Kelsey
Dec 05, 2016 Kelsey rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Steve Sheinkin once again makes history as easy to read as a novel, and just as engaging. Going in, pretty much the only thing I knew about Benedict Arnold was that he was a traitor. Such a fascinating read and a man who was quite a character! I had no idea of the vital roles he played in the American Revolution nor the sad details of his worst decision ever. Though this book is a non-fiction history, I would sooner call it an action adventure story.
Anonymous Phenomenon
Fairy indulging in the beginning, although all of the names and dates become rather dull with only a spark of excitement or good storytelling every once in a while. The overall story that this book tells of is a fascinating story that should be told in history books.
Beth
Jan 28, 2017 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Steve Sheinkin is a national treasure. This is so well done - and so well written!
Giggy
Sep 16, 2012 Giggy rated it liked it

Benedict Arnold


Benedict Arnold amazed the people in his country so much they were at a loss for words, but sometimes that wasn’t a good thing. The Notorious Benedict Arnold, by Steve Sheinkin, is an exciting, non-fiction and adventurous life story about a man who grew up in Norwich, Connecticut, where he was born in 1741. His name was Benedict Arnold. As a boy, Arnold was daring and adventurous. His parents sent him to a boarding school at age 11 to try to tame him. This did not seem to work bec
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Marta Boksenbaum
Feb 28, 2012 Marta Boksenbaum rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-lit
This biography of Benedict Arnold follows him from birth to death, and shows him as a man, rather than simply a traitor to America as he often is in the history books. The main focus on the book however was upon his contributions to the Americans as well as the British in the war. The reader learns of Arnold’s courageous and also risky decisions that help him win several battles against the British. It also describes in detail how Arnold came to switch sides and conspire with the British and bec ...more
Cassie
Mar 03, 2012 Cassie rated it really liked it
You likely don’t think of a war hero when you hear the name Benedict Arnold. However, what you get when you read The Notorious Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin is a biographical recount of his life, adventures, and how it all came to a tragic end for this infamous icon. I really enjoy that this biography shows how the events in Arnold’s life unfolded to create the image of how we see him today. Sheinkin admits to an obsession with the story of Benedict Arnold and his passion shines through in t ...more
Keilah R
Feb 25, 2013 Keilah R rated it liked it
By: Steve Sheinkin
Biography
Finished 2-25-13
307 pages

The biography, "The Notorious Benedict Arnold" is about the sixth Benedict Arnold, who was an American hero, as well as a traitor. It tells the story of his life from his childhood to his death. Throughout all of his life, Arnold remains ambitious, daring, and always welcomes attention. The book tells about his courageous adventures, leading his American men on dangerous journeys and into many battles, but he is not known as a hero to everyone.
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Leigh Isley
May 24, 2012 Leigh Isley rated it it was amazing
I picked this book because it is a YALSA non-fiction book and also a biography. At first I had a bit of skepticism about reading this biography. First this isn't my type of read and I was expecting it to be a long boring story. This book is not at all I expected. It would be most appropriate for the teenage ages of 15-18. It is hard to believe that Benedict Arnold would be an actual American Revolutionary War hero if only he had died at the Battle of Saratoga and had not committed treason agains ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Jun 24, 2012 Shaeley Santiago rated it really liked it
I got hooked on this story not far into the book. The short chapters make it easier to read because there are more natural breaks in the story. I found I really didn't know much about Benedict Arnold, other than his status as a traitor. I did know a bit about some of the characters surrounding Arnold, though. I certainly did not know the ending of his story or the role of his wife in the events!

There is a good passage I might use as a read-aloud in class. It starts on page 53 where Arnold is le
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Trinna
May 15, 2013 Trinna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, favorites
I LOVED this book. Written really well. I am amazed at the story of this man's life. The amazing general he was and the battles he led, to the fall of his name and honor and his turn to treason. You start out loving him for his poor beginnings and making a name for himself with his damaged family name. You praise him for his fighting and heroism, and then you gasp at his misfortune and hurt that comes to his name, and you feel sorry for his spiral downward turning to treason and selfishness and ...more
bjneary
Jun 27, 2012 bjneary rated it it was amazing
Sheinkin's ode to Benedict Arnold was awesome! I found myself thoroughly immmersed in the world of the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold and his perplexing personality (hard worker, soldier, but also rude and self-absorbed) and the life and times of this important period in our history. The way Arnold's life unfolds will definitely interest students, teachers and reluctant readers. The author has a flair for the dramatic in painting Benedict Arnold as a young man driven to succeed, where his ...more
Katie Young
May 06, 2012 Katie Young rated it it was amazing
Katie Young
Biography

This book tells the life story of Benedict Arnold from his rocky beginnings as a young boy, through his days in the American army, and finally his death in England. It is an intimate look at the life of Benedict Arnold and the trials and tribulations he faced from the time he was a boy. Were his experiences the reason he chose to betray his country? He was brave and adventurous which helped him in his military career but politics always seemed to get in his way of getting ahe
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Michael
Dec 17, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
I didn’t know much about Benedict Arnold before I read this book, honestly. What I found out was that he is an amazing historical figure. He fought for the American cause from the beginning of the Revolution and was the deciding factor in several key strategies and battles. His strong personality got him into trouble throughout his entire career and his pride eventually had him switch sides and try to deliver West Point to the English. A series of remarkable coincidences ruined his plan and he w ...more
Jennifer
Sep 21, 2016 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir, ya
I enjoyed this a surprising amount. It was extremely educational, and I think I'll retain more information about the American Revolution from the book than studying it for about two weeks during every year of elementary school. The writings of battles and politics in a narrative style helped to hold my interest.

While I don't like Benedict Arnold much better than when his name was merely synonymous with scornful thoughts of traitors, I do think that history hasn't remembered him fairly. I apprec
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George Merryman
Benedict Arnold's story is fraught with conflict and allows students to grapple with the complexity of reality. I will introduce students to this book after a drama unit built around "Hamilton." I will have my students complete one of Kylene Beers' KWL charts about Benedict Arnold before they read the book. After they have read it I will have them revisit their KWL and write down any new information they have found in the "What I learned" column. After completing this activity, I will have my st ...more
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