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Johnny Tremain

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  35,452 Ratings  ·  2,047 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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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)
Janell Schaak Johnny came to the house while still a young man, so he and Cilla grew up together. They had a playful relationship, almost brother and sister like,…moreJohnny came to the house while still a young man, so he and Cilla grew up together. They had a playful relationship, almost brother and sister like, during the first part of the book. After he was forced to leave the house, I believe he realized that he cared about her but wasn’t sure what to do with that feeling. He became protective of her. They are still relatively young at the end of the book, so it really doesn’t go further than that. (less)

Community Reviews

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Adam
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
Jamie
Aug 19, 2007 rated it did not like it
"wah, I was born rich but I grew up poor. wah, I burned my hand."
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.
Calista
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
...more
Andrew
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
Nicole
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!!!!!!!!
Nancy
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
...more
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.
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
...more
Gracelyn Buckner
5 Stars

Plot 5/5

Pros:
Let’s start with a boy. A boy who is a silversmith apprentice. He’s respected and envied among the other apprentices. Then there’s an accident. He’s injured, to the extent that he is perfectly useless to his master. He goes looking for work, and becomes involved with the Sons of Liberty. Soon, he’s helping patriot leaders: Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and a passionate (and possibly insane) man named James Otis.

A rather unlikely story? Even more unlikely because it
...more
Carol
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
...more
Cindy Rollins
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, morningtime, reread
Gold standard for historical read-aloud fiction.
jacky
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.
Cameron
Feb 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
HATED THIS BOOK
Julie
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
Ron
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 library a
...more
Greg
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.
Lizzie
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!
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
Willowy Whisper
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
Sara
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.
Emily
Jul 22, 2016 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.
Victoria Lynn
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this nearly 8 times over the course of my life. I think the first time I read it was when I was 10, but I have been in love with it ever since. Whenever someone asks about my favorite historical fiction book, I always remember this one the most. Just superb!
Kellyn
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
...more
Waffle...♥
Jan 25, 2008 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
Serethiel
Dec 22, 2015 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.
Sunny Houk
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historial
The book itself was not a surprise. I had a large idea how the story was going to go. In the beginning, I enjoyed it but it slowly disappeared. If I didn't know what to expect, I probably would have enjoyed it. A fun classic book about the beginning of Revolutionary War.
Ava
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You know how when you go to open goodreads, it says, "goodreads. Meet your next favorite book." Well. I did, and this is it.
Elaine Cooper
Jul 17, 2012 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
...more
Nathan Wolski
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
In 1775 some guy gets his hand messed up doing something that involves fire. The rest of the book is
basically the main character moping because he can't use his hand. This moping continues until he finds a job as a paperboy. He later becomes involved some major events that led up/took place in the American Revolutionary War.

SO BAD. THIS BOOK IS TRASHIEST THING ON EARTH.
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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.

Even
...more
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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.” 34 likes
“How old are you Johnny" she asked.
Sixteen."
And what's that-a boy or a man?"
He laughed. "A boy in time of peace and a man in time of war.”
26 likes
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