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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

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,246 ratings  ·  331 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...more
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 Un...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...more
Christine
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.
Julie Williams
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
Kathrina
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
Jimmy
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...more
Newengland
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...more
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...more
Kylie
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
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...more
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!
Ryan Hatch
8/10
I think that young adult nonfiction is becoming a go-to category for me; or maybe it's just Steve Sheinkin books. Either way, I really enjoyed this book. The story is fascinating. I have read a little bit about the Revolutionary War and new that at times Arnold was a great leader, but I had no idea his lead up to his downfall was so gripping. What's great about the way Sheinkin writes, is that he doesn't bore you with every fact he found while researching the subject, he merely tells the sto...more
Lois V.
Sheinkin presents another side to early America's most famous traitor, Benedict Arnold: a daring soldier itching to lead. Except for one mistake, Arnold might have made the list of our greatest heroes. In forty-five short chapters, the author tells Arnold's exciting life story dotted with suspense and details of the Revolutionary War. Maps and Quotation Notes provide more information in addition to introducing his Source Note sections with an explanatory paragraph. No wonder this book earned a Y...more
Shaeley Santiago
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...more
Trinna
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
Giggy

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...more
Cassie
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
Marta Boksenbaum
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
Keilah R
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....more
Leigh Isley
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
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...more
bjneary
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
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...more
Michael
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
Emmaj
I really knew almost nothing about Benedict Arnold when I started this book except that his name is still almost synonymous with "traitor" even all these years later.
Sheinkin does a great job of putting Arnold in historical context, piecing together his early life and generally giving you a good sense of a driven man with an unpredictable temper who craves validation and honor and yet is uncharismatic and alienates people even when doing great deeds.
The author also gives you a little history of...more
Jacoba
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery
by Steve Sheinkin (2010)
Genre: Nonfiction, biography
Format: Book
Plot summary:Provides a biography of America's first traitor--Benedict Arnold--that reads like an adventure tale, full of heroism, treachery, battle scenes, and surprising twists.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong language, sex, death, religious overtones, violence, etc.):Deals with war
Review citation (if available):Pam Carlson....more
Linda
I'm terrible with history, but Sheinkin's narrative style really made it come alive. My review is here.
Chris May
Ostensibly a YA biography, but it is really a well written biography that any adult including me, would enjoy. Sheinkin is a good writer, better than most historians. great info, great story, and and not bloated.
Rachel
A must read for any history buff! The book portrays General Washington, John André, and Benedict Arnold along with many other historical figures in a unique light! It also gives the reader a vivid picture of the conditions the soldiers endured during the Revolutionary war. The tensions between Congress and the military leaders are felt throughout the novel as well and give the reader feel for the disconnect that existed between the two bodies during this time in history. I highly recommend this...more
Sunday
I'm a fan of Sheinkin - The Bomb and Port Chicago 50 are top recommendations to middle school teachers. This is one of his earlier books --not as gripping, but still very well written and a book students may become engrossed in. I'd recommend it for a read aloud as part of a unit of study and for a literature circle.

This book made me realize (once again) how little students get out of history textbooks that summarize events, that have no depth. Sheinkin reveals the gruesome, painful, dangerous...more
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