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Johnny Tremain

Average Rating 3.5
( 260 )
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5 Star

(119)

4 Star

(49)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(51)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 17 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 17 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 November 30, 2010

    Insight on Tremain

    Introduction
    Johnny is a young man whom seeks out to be a skilled silversmith. He becomes Mr. Lapham's apprentice, who has two other youth apprentices who tend to get in Johnny's way with their pranks, laziness and insults.


    Description and summary of main points
    Sometime after Johnny has his accident, he goes off to look for a different trade. Soon he finds a job that could fit him, and a friend too. Eventually, he takes the job and joins him in the secret union which that friend is in.


    Evaluation
    Johnny Tremain was quite an interesting book. It showed me how life was like back in those days for a young apprentice when bad luck runs a muck. I wasn't pleased reading it the whole way through, but it had it's moments where it was pleasing. There were moments where I wanted to keep reading the book.


    Final review
    Johnny Tremain is a book I would recommend. It was a above average book, but not perfect. It had some of its flaws, but all in all, It was something that is worth your time. I give it a 4 out of 5.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    history buff's fantasy!!

    the first time i read this book i was in fifth grade, and i didn't understand a thing! (i was forced to read it that time) but then i began to love history alot more, especially the american revolution. i went back in eighth grade to read it over the summer and i loved it!! it makes a huge difference if you can understand the vocabulary and if you are a history buff, like me!!

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    If you like historical stories, you'll love this.

    I truly enjoyed this book with its historic time frame and the lessons on being arrogant and then learning to be humble. It tells a great story about a funny kid who reminds me of an old friend who now lives in Oregon. Being set in the Revalutionar war drew my interest to this book. I love to read and watch tv shows about history and things that happened during the various time frames. Even though I don't like reading, I enjoyed this book and would read it again.

    The story is about a 14 year old moves in with a family, the Lapham's to be an apprentice to a silversmith. The mom is determined he will also marry her daughter. Becoming so skilled, he became arrogant and bullies the other kids in the house.

    Johnny's fame as a silversmith takes a turn for the better and is asked to do an elaborate silver basin for a wealthy merchant. He also tells the daughter, Cilla that he is related to a wealthy Boston merchant. Not happy with the results of silver basin's handles. He created a mold for a perfect set of handles. One of the sons decided to play a practical joke that would forever change Johnny's life. His hands were burned and disfigured. Mrs. Lapham complains about feeding him, and that she no longer would allow him to marry her daughter.

    Johnny searches for work at a Boston Newspaper telling how his hands became damaged and was promised a job delivering papers if he could find no other work.

    Depressed he decides to contact his wealthy relative. He produced a silver cup given to him by his mom and was told he stole it and was arrested. After going to trial, he was cleared of the charge.

    Down on his luck, he went back to the newspaper to ask for the delivery job. He becomes friendly with the key members in politics and is transformed from a political bystander into an ardent Whig. He participates in the Boston Tea Party. He slowly changes from a selfish arrogant child into a selfless idealistic man.

    The book teaches you about history during that time period and life challenges. That your life can change in a heartbeat.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book

    We are reading this book in class and it is pretty good but it starts out pretty boring but it steadily takes up pace. Maybe I just don't understand it since I am only in 5th grade but it's okay. Overall it's pretty good. I especially like the connection between Johnny and Cilla. My friend is really obsessed with Johnny, it's not funny.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    pretty good

    this is a extremely well-written story, Esther Forbes did a good job. You need to know the background of the 1770's and what is going on around Johnny during the story. it is well written but you need to pay attention to what is going on the story may change suddenly when you don't pay attention to the story. All in all it was an excellent book

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2003

    Good Book

    It is a good book but it dosent include enough about the apprentice system.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2014

    Loved it.

    I liked this good book alot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    A GOOD READ

    As I understand this book was written and published around WWII, the vocabulary is very advanced and may be difficult for 5th grade and below, and some mild language-words such as damn, hell, and slut. For 6th grade and above. It's still a buy to consider. Note: I'm reading this book on PAPERBACK, not eBook. Thank you for reading this review. Check out my other review on THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD by STEVE SHEINKIN

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

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  • Posted June 25, 2012

    A fast, fun read for everyone

    If the Revolutionary War is not your favorite era, then this may be a slow, laborious read. Otherwise, this book is highly recommended as children's lit. Though the plot may seem mechanized at some points, the writing is good and the character development is advanced for this type of book. Overall, a fast, fun read for everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    PLEASE READ

    To all whom are concidering reading this, it is a sort of confusing novel, it is a tough read.reccomended for ages 12+

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Anoymus

    I like this book but it is really difficult.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Interesting

    This book was a fun version of history class

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2011

    Well developed

    Johnny Tremain, a young teenager during the Revolutionary war. His Father left his mother and him after birth. His mother was the only thing he had in life until she sent him away after she knew she was very ill. His master Mr. Lapham took very well care of him and trained him to be something important in Britain, a silversmith. Mr. Lapham also had another apprentice named Dove, who was not very happy to be with Johnny.

    Johnny had an important order for a gravy bowl for Mr. Lyte. He wanted the important bowl by early Monday morning. The order was on a Saturday morning and Johnny started on the bowl as soon as possible. He hardly had time to make the bowl in one day because there was no work on Sunday for church. Johnny and Mr. Lapham's daughter disobeyed his rule and continued to work anyway. Then a dramatic accident happened.

    I would give this novel a 4.5 for its good look at the revolutionary war. In addition, for showing how peoples' lives were during the war. Showing people news from the newspapers and fighting the British. Using events in the story like the "Boston Tea Party". Using the main characters in important events to the revolutionary war. I personally thought it was a great way to write the book.

    As few months past, he looked for jobs. Mr. Lapham allowed him to stay with the family as long he did some simple chores and was back before curfew. Johnny was out one night looking for a meal and came across Rab. Rab is his best friend in the story after he starts to work for them. He took the job as the newspaper boy with the greatest horse in Boston, Goblin. Goblin was a hard horse to break because he was terrified of anything white. If he saw the smallest white piece of paper, he would go crazy!

    My final review for the book is a solid rating of 4.5. Thinking about the ways the book could have been better is hard to do. The book had amazing main events and important people. The story is set up well and made so it is not confusing but realistic. All together, this book is very well developed and organized great fully.

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  • Posted September 2, 2011

    Johnny Tremain

    Johnny Tremain was an apprentice blacksmith, where he runs into trouble, and then becomes in a group called the Sons of Liberty. They have secret meetings that no one is supposed to know about. Johnny is the group messenger, he delivers special newspapers to just the group.

    Johnny Tremain was making a silver sugar basin, the wax from his mold melted and cracked, and he did not know. He was walking to check on it where he slipped on the melted wax, which was dumped on the floor. When he fell, his hand was burnt on melted sliver. He was fired from his blacksmith job, there for he became a member of the Sons of Liberty. They were responsible for the Boston Tea Party. Later on, he went to fight in the Revolutionary War.

    In my opinion, this book was very good. It was well written and has a very good plot; I would recommend this book to everyone.

    Johnny Tremain, the blacksmith who was injured so badly where he had to get a new job, he went to be in the Sons of Liberty, and then to go fight in the Revolutionary War. At the very end Johnny gets his hand fixed.

    I would give this book four out of five stars. The reason I would only give it a four is that I do not like to read books very often.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Historical, entertaining, and all around a great read

    Johnny Tremain is one of my favorite historical fiction novels. It's exciting and I really had a hard time putting it down. The characters are genuine, the story is realistic, and if there are any "cons" to this book they're to insignificant to mention. I wish I came across this book earlier, because I think anybody 4th grade or older would find this book entertaining.

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  • Posted October 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this story

    I first read this book almost 30 years ago in high school and I just loved it. This, with To Kill a Mockingbird really began my life passion about human rights - it started me on my path. I am so glad I can buy now and re-read it with the subsequent experiences of my life.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2009

    One of The Best Books Ever!

    I read the book Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. This book was outstanding in my point of view because I enjoy American history. In this story, Johnny Tremain is a teenage kid in th American Revolution era who lives with his "foster" family. Johnny is trying to become a silversmith like his father. I like how the story revolves around his silversmith incident. By the end of the book he realizes he is a true patriot even with one hand by rebelling. Overall this is a very good book for all ages because it reflects on topics that are enjoyable for all ages.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2008

    Great cover image!

    Loved the image on the cover. Much better than the old illustration -- very realistic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2005

    history can be fun!

    i was reading this book for school, and i thought it was really interesting. hope yall like it too. and the way Johnny is explained he sounds so heroic and fun.

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