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Johnny Tremain

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  46,213 ratings  ·  2,498 reviews
Johnny Tremain, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in the danger and excitement of 1775 Boston, just before the Revolutionary War. But even more gripping than living through the drama of Revolutionary Boston is the important discovery Johnny makes in his own life.
Paperback, 322 pages
Published April 1st 1987 by Yearling (first published 1943)
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Robin Wow your answers are all so sad. I thought if my kids read it before studying about the loyalists and patriots it would have been great. I just read i…moreWow your answers are all so sad. I thought if my kids read it before studying about the loyalists and patriots it would have been great. I just read it, really liked it and passed it onto my son's teacher. (less)

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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,213 ratings  ·  2,498 reviews

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Aug 17, 2007 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 rated it did not like it
"wah, I was born rich but I grew up poor. wah, I burned my hand." ...more
R.F. Gammon
How in the world did I only give this three stars before? This book was pretty much perfect.

I have recently learned that this author was my great-grandmother's college roommate.

My desire to reread has very much intensified.
Great story about the Revolutionary War from the perspective of a silver smith. Many famous names from that time are in the story like John Hancock and Sam Adams. Johnny is an apprentice as a silver smith until an unfortunate accident maims his hands. He then becomes a newspaper courier when he gathers information for the Rebels. The Redcoats are trying to keep the people in line. This leads up to the first battle in the war.

There is one moment in the story I found very disturbing. Johnny slaps
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
This was an amazing book. Beautiful, powerful, heartbreaking, healing, inspiring, courageous, sweet, and so much more. It's not my favorite historical fiction or Revolutionary War book, and not quite as amazing as the best I've read - but it comes incredibly close. It was so wonderful. It was very, very well-written, and incredibly powerful, in characterization, plot, writing style, historical accuracy, setting, and theme.

I really, really love Johnny. For so many reasons. He's a fabulous charac
Apr 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
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!!!!!!!!
Gracelyn Buckner
“‘That a man can stand up’ — as simple as that.
And the strange new sun rising in the west. A sun that was to illumine a world to come.”

My favorite book of all time.
Carol Bakker
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
Mar 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Beesan Sarsour
Apr 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Cindy Rollins
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, morningtime, reread
Gold standard for historical read-aloud fiction.
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
Sep 04, 2008 rated it liked it
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 base libr
Jun 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Feb 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Luisa Knight
Whenever I see this book, I think of an "F".

Not "F" for Forbes. No; "F" as in report card.

Face palm. Ugh, yes! It's true - and I was homeschooled! Homeschoolers can get "F's" on a book report, you ask? Yes. Yes they can. And they do. And this is how. You stall. And stall and stall and stall. And you don't finish the book and you don't write the report and your mom gives you an “F”. Face palm. I was so dumb. I seriously don't know why I got it into my head that I didn't like the book, because I
Steven Theros
Sep 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
@#$! Pure @#$! Don't ever read this book for your own good. My entire class declared it a sin. We had to read it for class. I am sorry at my crude explanation, but it just had to be done. I think I can speak for everyone who had to read it at my school that it was awful and completely deserving of this one star review. ...more
Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
Classics Cleanup Challenge #10
Audio #158
Rachel Aranda
4.5 stars

I can’t believe I never got the chance to read this classic school book. When I found out it was also an award-winning classic children’s book, I knew that I had to read it. This book was a surprisingly good read. Definitely glad I got to listen to the book and listen to the audiobook narrated by Grace Conlin. Definitely will keep the audiobook in my collection even if I have to return the book to the library. Would recommend parents read this book with their kids or give it as a gift.
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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! ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: three-stars, classics
Sometimes I think reading books for school makes me want to read less.
A.L. Sowards
This is one of my all-time favorite novels. I first fell in love with it when I was in grade school, then reread it a bunch of times, and now I have read it with some of my own children. We started it early in July, so our reading coincided with Independence Day.

When the novel begins, Johnny has his whole life figured out. He’s a brilliant silversmith apprentice, and when he’s a little older, he’ll take over his master’s silversmith business. The family will even throw in one of the granddaughte
Jayna Homer
Sep 11, 2008 added it
Shelves: grades-3-6
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
Malachi Cyr
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really fun book to read from one of my favorite periods in history. I would have given it five stars, except for some very minor language and several worldview problems (stinks that so many good books have rotten worldviews). Other than that, the book was well written, the story is great, and the characters are very relatable to (at least for me). Lots of people I know read it for Rab, btw, since Johnny is really prideful and stuck up with himself, etc, especially towards the beginning ...more
Hannah Linder
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in 1977 - pre-Goodreads

Review 12.01.17

Yikes, that's a review done 40 years after the fact. What do I remember about this? I remember I liked it. I remember it was about the Revolutionary War. I remember about the silver and the hand and the webbing. Still gives me chills. I later on went to a Christian school where we weren't allowed to read this. I think it was because it had a swear word in it.
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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.


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