Customer Reviews for

Johnny Tremain

Average Rating 3.5
( 256 )
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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 18, 2006

    Johnny Tremain

    I hated this book! I thought it was the most boringist book you could read! It didnt have a plot or anything it just kept on going about how there lifes could be better! Johnny Tremain was sooo stupid sumetime, and stubbern. He was to full of himself and it bugged me so bad! This book made no sense to me it was so confusing! They would jump from something to a different thing so you would never really understand what was really happining in the story it was so cunfusing and made my brain hurt bad! Why did they even have to get so mad at the brittish? The english were the ones who started the whole thing it just doesnt make sense to me why they made such a big deal about it. And why didnt Johnny just marry Cilla they were like perfect together and they did nothing about it in the whole story! I just dont know why i chose this book to do my U.S. History book on but i did. But i wouldnt recremend this book to anybody unless they were way into history and werent as confused as i was! I guess it was pretty intense in some parts but i just dont get into history that easily i think history is pretty borring sometimes. This is my review on how the book was.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    Johnny Tremain

    I hated this book! I thought it was so borring. You would have to be way into history to keep reading this book. Johnny Tramain could be so stupid sometimes, and stubbern. He was to fool of himself and it drove me crazy! Johnny was so stupid he shouldnt have worked when he wasnt supposed to! That could have saved alot of trubble. Why couldnt they just fallow what the brittish told them to and back off but they had to get in it because they should have just payed there taxes and not worried about it then the whole world would would be a better place but no we had to fight about it. This book is really, really borring and i would not recremend it to anyone.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2007

    YAWN

    I had to read this book for school and it was really bad...I got up to page 3 and then I lost interest. I totally agree with whoever said it was a total bore. I second it! What a waste of time. Read something good! I am a 4th grader who normally reads adult fantasy (i.e. Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, Kristan Britain...etc.). I should have held a strike when I was told to read this book. It is so boring. Look, here's a passage from p.142: 'These men had none uniforms. Many had ancient flintlocks, old squirrel guns. Rab, for instanc, all that old spring had been goin to Lexington once a week to drill with the townsmen. He...' BLAh-blah-blah. That was a RANDOM PAGE NUMBER! That's the TYPICAL paragraph there is in this book! So...incredibly...boring...and I haven't even read past page 59.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2006

    awful

    this book was horrible. i made it to page 140. and i cant read it anymore. its just so boring. i left it in the rain and it got all ruined i was actually really happy. i dont know anyone that likes this book. its horrible

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2006

    You'd be better off reading WALLPAPER!!

    This was the most booorrring book EVER!! I don't personally know anyone that would go crazy over this book. IT'S JUST PLAIN HORRIBLE!!! Nobody should have EVER published this book! I fell asleep after reading the first 2 pages!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2005

    Why Did You Have to Write This?!?!

    This book put me to sleep lots of times in less than 5 minutes. That's probably why it took me all summer to read it. So is that why the school made us read it: It was a challenge??

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2005

    YUCK!!!

    My teacher made myn class rread this and I think it's HORRABLE!!!! It doesn't have a plot! And Why Doesn't Johnny just marry Cilla???!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2005

    STINKS

    i had never read historical fiction much so i decided 2 giv johnny tremain a try. it was good n the beginng but i stopped @ page 110 cuz it was boring and there was no plot. i hope No one reads this it was as borin as it can get! but its a must read NOT

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    HORRIBLE BOOK

    IM sorry but this is a horrible book. I cannot believe they keep torturing innocent children with such boring literature. This book brings back very bad memories of being forced to listen to it in English class. I mean who would name their children Dorcas and Isannah???????? Dont read it....PLEASE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2004

    HORRIBLE!!!

    I THINK THAT THIS BOOK WAS JUST PLAIN HORRIBLE. ALTHOUGH THERE WAS A POINT IN THE BOOK, IT WAS BADLY WRITTEN. THE AUTHOR COULD HAVE DONE MUCH BETTER. I DEFENITALY WOULD NOT ADVISE ANYONE TO READ IT UNLESS THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO. ACTUALLY, I CHANGE MY MIND. NOONE SHOULD READ IT, EVEN IF THEY ARE BORED.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2004

    Newbery Award ?????

    If you think this book is boring to read, try reading aloud in a classroom trying to make it sound exciting. I had nightmares about British trying to kill Sam Adams. So scary.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    BORING

    This is possibly the worst book that I have ever had the misfortune of reading. I literally cried with boredom when I had to read it. This is the one book in the world that I actually encourage people not to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2003

    bad book

    This is the worst book that I have ever read and I am usually a bookworm. This book was really boring and I would never recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Cathy You Rock my world!

    My middle school teacher made me read Johhny Tremain it was sooo boring. I had to right like i was johnny tremain and other stuff. I did get an A+ but it was truly the most boring book ive read. I may have liked it more if i wasnt forced on it. Cathy i wish you were my teacher cuase mine stinks!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2003

    to confusing

    i read this book in the 5th grade. it was okay, btu way to complicated for me! i like fun stories that are a bit more modern than this one

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2002

    This Book Bites!!

    I absolutly hated this book. I found it very boreing compared to the other books I have read this school year and before. I felt that the plot was undeveloped and had no serious topic. The book went off topic alot and I thought that it was very confusing and very boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2001

    Only if you want to know about the Boston Tea Party

    I would only read this book if you want to find out how it was like at the time of the Boston Tea Party.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    might as well be a history textbook

    Johnny Tremain was one of the most boring, uncreative, and biased books that I have ever read. It ignores the thoughts of the British and glorifies every comment that is made by American Patriots. It also has one of the most uncreative story lines that I have ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2001

    a reviewer

    This is only my opinion but I had to read it with my class and I literally fell asleep one day. Yes-it does tell a lot about history and I usually like reading these kind of books but I just hated this book.This is only my opinion so don't let this stop you from reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2001

    A very boring book

    I think that it is complete torture to have to read this book. It has too many vocabulary words right after eachother. It has a very boring beginning. I say that you shouldn't read this book unless you are forced to.

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