Customer Reviews for

Johnny Tremain

Average Rating 3.5
( 256 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(118)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(50)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

This Book Is a Classic

I write this review as a retired teacher. This book, historical fiction, is a Newbery Medal Winner, and is typically found on the reading list for grades 6 though 8. Esther Forbes does an excellent job of blending her fictional characters with the famous figures we hav...
I write this review as a retired teacher. This book, historical fiction, is a Newbery Medal Winner, and is typically found on the reading list for grades 6 though 8. Esther Forbes does an excellent job of blending her fictional characters with the famous figures we have come to know from history in Boston during the period leading up to the Revolution. It is a coming-of-age story on two levels: Fictionally, it deals with an insecure and immature fourteen-year-old seeking to find his roots and his way in life. We believe that Johnny makes an interesting character for kids from eleven through fourteen to relate to, because his negative attitude in the beginning makes him somewhat unattractive. Consequently, he gets very little sympathy when he needs it the most. Fortunately for Johnny, he latches onto a genuine human being named Rab, who becomes his mentor and role model. It is really heartwarming to see how Rab's kindness works as counseling that rearranges Johnny's thinking, which in turn, causes Johnny to work to correct his own behavior. You can't help but love Rab! By the end of the book, sixteen-year-old Johnny has emerged as a responsible, caring, self-respecting young man who has also acquired respect for others. And like Rab, he too, has become lovable.

On a historical level, this story deals with America's coming of age. The colonies are outgrowing the Mother Country. In Boston, Sam Adams and his Committee of Correspondence members are paving the way for independence. The Sons of Liberty are rebelling against King George III, in a manner not unlike that of a two-year-old rebelling against parents. "If I don't get my way, I'm going to make you pay. I'll dump your tea into the sea." Had King George III been less of a tyrant, and Sam Adams less of a rebel, would we be the United States today? (Interestingly, underneath King George III's portrait hanging in the British Museum is a line labeling him as the ruler who cost England her American colonies.)

I see reading this book as an opportunity for students to increase their word power. Underlining unknown words and making a list of them to look up in the dictionary is the way to learn new words. Words like Whigs, Tories, and apprentice will be easily learned from usage. Also, if this book is required reading for a reluctant reader, I strongly recommend buying the audio version to use in conjunction with the reading. The audio comes unabridged on CDs and makes an excellent supplement for reading improvement, because reading and listening at the same time is twofold learning. This book has too much to offer in both history and fictional character development to not support it completely. It deserves the Newbery medal it received.

posted by Liz4 on February 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Should have never been published. (No offense Esther Forbes.)

Worst book ever. Period.

posted by Anonymous on December 25, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Should have never been published. (No offense Esther Forbes.)

    Worst book ever. Period.

    5 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Had to read this book for a book club....

    And it stunk. I did not understand it and it was a long boring read. I would not recommend it.

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2005

    EWWW! DON'T EVER READ THIS!

    This was the worst book I ever read, and it was so boring. My teacher made me read it last year, and I hated it so much.

    4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2012

    Bleh

    This book STINKS!

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Suck si bad

    The worst book ive ever read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    This book sucks so bad dnt read it!

    Way boring, but it might be fun if you like falling asleep during reading class! otherwise dont read it!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2006

    HORRIBLE

    This book was sooooooo boring!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    Cats

    I do not like this book

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2013

    SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED OEVEN THIUGHT OG BORRINNNNGGG!!!!!!!!

    DONT REAIT WHATAD

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!:(

    I was forced to read this for school, would never read this again!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2013

    Boo

    I want to give it zero stars it sucked

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    HATED IT!!!!!!

    If i were able to put 0 stars i would but i have to rate it if your teacher or someone says you have to read it look up the summary online it is much easier and afordable this books sucks if you want me to tell you what happens he becomes the stupid newspaper boy the only peple i like in this book is the horse goblin and Rab because he makes good juice

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    READ THIS BOOK!!!!

    This was by far the worst book i have ever read. I would not recommend this book to anyone. PS: this book sucks!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted October 10, 2012

    I recomend this book to history fanatics!

    Johnny Tremain took place in the 1700s, in Boston about the time of the Revolutionary War. The main character of the book was very arrogant and thought highly of himself. Johnny would be the main character along with the lyte and lapham families. Esther Forbes did a very well job with really just getting you into the scene and telling descriptively how the characters acted. Johnny first took a job as an apprentice for a silversmith until he was injured with a large burn upon his hand. He then would seek out and try and find a new job suit for a dull hand. He would find a job that would require going out and spying on the British. He became somewhat of a friend to the British. Which Rab already wants to kill every single one of the British! But Johnny told him ‘’no you can’t they are just people’’.
    Johnny Tremain was very historical the author told us the proper order that the war took place in, Like the Boston tea party. Johnny became very loyal with his job; he learned how to control his temper by biting his tongue and counting to ten. He later became more confident with his hand. He became less ‘’cocky’’ and had grown lots of pride and heart. Towards the end of the story Rab gives Johnny his musket and Johnny was talking to the surgeon about getting his hand operated on and then the surgeon explains ‘’you know that your father was a wonderful surgeon’’. Then as Johnny thinks of getting his hand cut he also thinks to himself ‘’I just might go to war and be free as a son of liberty’’. I rate this book on a 1-10 scale an okay 6.

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  • Posted December 31, 2011

    What a bummer!

    Purchased this for my son to use with nook study. We used the free sample trial and was able to listen to it. After purchasing it the text to speech no longer would work for this selection. Sure felt ripped off.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2008

    This book sucked

    I hated Johnny Tremain. I fell asleep after the first 3 words. LIterally if i wasn' t forced by school to read it i would have light it on fire and threw it out the window.Sorry Esther Forbes your book was terrible except for johnny and cilla that was the only good part.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2008

    Surprised

    I had to take a state test one day and my teacher told us to pick a book to have in our desks. We were about to learn about the Revolution, so I thought this would be a good choice. The first page (in extremely tiny print): The birds tweeted. The cows grazed. Ships came in. It was morning. The sun slowly came up. For a while I actually liked this book, that was until page 100 (again in tiny print): The horse was strangely pretty. It had really smooth fur. It took a step. It took another step. What the heck? Half the book and no war? The back said: 'A heartfelt novel full of danger and excitement. In my opinion, the book had no emotion or any danger. The most exciting thing in the entire beginning was delivering newspaper. For a while I hoped Johnny would've been charged guilty. In my opinion the worst novel ever written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2008

    horrible!

    i had to read this for summer reading1 it is a really bad book. i reccomend u dont read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2008

    Johnny Tremain is extremely boring!

    Johnny Tremain is a horrible book. It is so boring and it is way to long. If I didnt have to read it for summer reading, I would have stopped reading after the first page. I love history, but this book is NOT for me!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was forced to read this book last year in English class. It was terrible---- so boring!!!! I recommend that you don't read this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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