Kris Sauer's Reviews > Johnny Tremain

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
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's review
Apr 02, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

I read this in preparation for a unit on the American Revolution. Esther Forbes's book may have been written in 1943, but believe it or not, it is still really good today. Generally I've found that Newberry winners from years past tend to have a stilted, dry flavor to them. Children's literature has defnitely become far more readable in the past years. While this book may not pull young readers in the way Harry Potter or Rick Riordan's tomes might, there is still plenty of adventure and daring to be had. Johnny Tremain is a young silversmith's apprentice working in 1770s Boston just before the Revolutionary War. After an accident disfigures his hand, making silversmithing impossibly, Johnny mucks about trying to find his place in the world. He chances upon Rab, a newspaper apprentice, and the two become friends. Unfit for skilled labor, Johnny begins riding the irascible Goblin, delivering newspapers and eventually becoming a courier and spy for the Minutement. Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Dr. Warren, and other historical figures are a prominent part of the book, taking readers through the Boston Tea Party and the first shots fired at Lexington. Well-researched, well-written, this is still an incredibly accessible book on the start of Revolutionary War and a very good read.
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