Johnny Tremain

Johnny Tremain

by Esther Hoskins Forbes


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547614328
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/02/2011
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 26,070
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Esther Forbes  (1891-1967) garnered a Newbery Medal and an enduring place in children's literature with the publication of Johnny Tremain. Her adult novel, Paul Revere and the World He Lived In, won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1942.

Read an Excerpt

I. Up and About
On rocky islands gulls woke. Time to be about their business. Silently they floated in on the town, but when their icy eyes sighted the first dead fish, first bits of garbage about the ships and wharves, they began to scream and quarrel.

The cocks in Boston back yards had long before cried the coming of day. Now the hens were also awake, scratching, clucking, laying eggs.

Cats in malt houses, granaries, ship holds, mansions, and hovels caught a last mouse, settled down to wash their fur and sleep. Cats did not work by day.

In stables horses shook their halters and whinnied.

In barns cows lowed to be milked.

Boston slowly opened its eyes, stretched, and woke. The sun struck in horizontally from the east, flashing upon weathervanes—brass cocks and arrows, here a glass-eyed Indian, there a copper grasshopper—and the bells in the steeples cling-clanged, telling the people it was time to be up and about.

In hundreds of houses sleepy women woke sleepier children. Get up and to work. Ephraim, get to the pump, fetch Mother water. Ann, get to the barn, milk the cow and drive her to the Common. Start the fire, Silas. Put on a clean shirt, James. Dolly, if you aren’t up before I count ten . . .

And so, in a crooked little house at the head of Hancock’s Wharf on crowded Fish Street, Mrs. Lapham stood at the foot of a ladder leading to the attic where her father-in-law’s apprentices slept. These boys were luckier than most apprentices. Their master was too feeble to climb ladders; the middle-aged mistress too stout. It was only her bellows that could penetrate to their quarters—not her heavy hands.


No answer.


‘Coming, ma’am.’ Dove turned over for one more snooze.

Frustrated, she shook the ladder she was too heavy to climb. She wished she could shake ‘them limbs of Satan.’

‘Dusty Miller—let me hear your voice.’

‘Here it is,’ piped Dusty pertly.

Her voice changed to pleading.

‘Johnny—you get them two lazy lug-a-beds up. Get them down here. You pull that worthless Dove right out’er bed. You give Dusty a kick for me. I’m waiting for him to fetch fresh water so’s I can get on with breakfast.’

Johnny Tremain was on his feet. He did not bother to answer his mistress. He turned to the fat, pale, almost white-haired boy still wallowing in bed.

‘Hear that, Dove?’

‘Oh—you . . . leave me lay, can’t you?’ Grumbling, he swung his legs out of the bed the three boys shared.

Johnny was already in his leather breeches, pulling on his coarse shirt, tucking in the tails. He was a rather skinny boy, neither large nor small for fourteen. He had a thin, sleep-flushed face, light eyes, a wry mouth, and fair, lank hair. Although two years younger than the swinish Dove, inches shorter, pounds lighter, he knew, and old Mr. Lapham knew, busy Mrs. Lapham and her four daughters and Dove and Dusty also knew, that Johnny Tremain was boss of the attic, and almost of the house.

Dusty Miller was eleven. It was easy for Johnny to say, ‘Look sharp, Dusty,’ and little Dusty looked sharp. But Dove (his first name had long ago been forgotten) hated the way the younger apprentice lorded it over him, telling him when to go to bed, when to get up, criticizing his work in the silversmith’s shop as though he were already a master smith. Hadn’t he been working four years for Mr. Lapham and Johnny only two? Why did the boy have to be so infernally smart with his hands—and his tongue?

‘Look here, Johnny, I’m not getting up ’cause you tell me to. I’m getting up ’cause Mrs. Lapham tells me to.’

‘All right,’ said Johnny blandly, ‘just so you’re up.’

There was only one window in the attic. Johnny always stood before it as he dressed. He liked this view down the length of Hancock’s Wharf. Counting houses, shops, stores, sail lofts, and one great ship after another, home again after their voyaging, content as cows waiting to be milked. He watched the gulls, so fierce and beautiful, fighting and screaming among the ships. Beyond the wharf was the sea and the rocky islands where gulls nested.

He knew to the fraction of a moment how long it would take the two other boys to get into their clothes. Swinging about, he leaped for the head of the ladder, hardly looking where he went. One of Dove’s big feet got there first. Johnny stumbled, caught himself, and swung silently about at Dove.

‘Gosh, Johnny. I’m sorry,’ snickered Dove.

‘Sorry, eh? . . . you’re going to be a lot sorrier . . .’

‘I just didn’t notice . . .’

‘You do that again and I’ll beat you up again. You overgrown pig-of-a-louse. You . . .’ He went on from there. Mr. Lapham was strict about his boys swearing, but Johnny could get along very well without. Whatever a ‘pig-of-a-louse’ was, it did describe the whitish, flaccid, parasitic Dove.

Little Dusty froze as the older boys quarreled. He knew Johnny could beat up Dove any time he chose. He worshiped Johnny and did not like Dove, but he and Dove were bound together by their common servitude to Johnny’s autocratic rule. Half of Dusty sympathized with one boy, half of him with the other, in this quarrel. It seemed to him that everybody liked Johnny. Old Mr. Lapham because he was so clever at his work. Mrs. Lapham because he was reliable. The four Lapham girls because he sassed them so—and then grinned. Most of the boys in the other shops around Hancock’s Wharf liked Johnny, although some of them fought him on sight. Only Dove hated him. Sometimes he would get Dusty in a corner, tell him in a hoarse whisper how he was going to get a pair of scissors and cut out Johnny Tremain’s heart. But he never dared do more than trip him—and then whine out of it.

‘Someday,’ said Johnny, his good nature restored, ‘I’ll kill you, Dove. In the meantime, you have your uses. You get out the buckets and run to North Square and fetch back drinking water.’

The Laphams were on the edge of the sea. Their well was brackish.

‘Look here—Mrs. Lapham said Dusty was to go and . . .’

‘Get along with you. Don’t you go arguing with me.’

Fetching water, sweeping, helping in the kitchen, tending the annealing furnace in the shop were the unskilled work the boys did. Already Johnny was so useful at his bench he could never be spared for such labor. It was over a year since he had carried charcoal or a bucket of water, touched a broom or helped Mrs. Lapham brew ale. His ability made him semi-sacred. He knew his power and reveled in it. He could have easily made friends with stupid Dove, for Dove was lonely and admired Johnny as well as envied him. Johnny preferred to bully him.

Johnny, followed by his subdued slaves, slipped down the ladder with an easy flop. To his left was Mr. Lapham’s bedroom. The door was closed. Old master did not go to work these days until after breakfast. Starting the boys off, getting things going, he left to his bustling daughter-in-law. Johnny knew the old man (whom he liked) was already up and dressed. He took this time every day to read the Bible.

To his right, the only other bedroom was open. It was here Mrs. Lapham slept with her four ‘poor fatherless girls,’ as she called them. The two biggest and most capable were already in the kitchen helping their mother.

Cilla was sitting on the edge of one of the unmade beds, brushing Isannah’s hair. It was wonderful hair, seemingly spun out of gold. It was the most wonderful thing in the whole house. Gently Cilla brushed and brushed, her little oddly shaped face turned away, pretending she did not know that Johnny was there. He knew neither Cilla nor Isannah would politely wish him the conventional ‘good morning.’ He was lingering for his morning insult.

Cilla never lifted her eyes as she put down her brush and very deliberately picked up a hair ribbon (the Laphams couldn’t afford such luxuries, but somehow Cilla always managed to keep her little sister in hair ribbons). Very carefully she began to tie the child’s halo of pale curls. She spoke to Isannah in so low a voice it was almost a whisper.

‘There goes that wonderful Johnny Tremain.’

Isannah took her cue, already so excited she was jumping up and down.

‘Johnny worth-his-weight-in-gold Tremain.’

‘If you don’t think he is wonderful—ask him, Isannah.’

‘Oh, just how wonderful are you, Johnny?’

Johnny said nothing, stood there and grinned.

The two youngest Laphams were always insulting him, not only about how smart he was, but how smart he thought he was. He didn’t care. Every now and then they would say something that irritated him and then together they would shout, ‘Johnny’s mad.’

As an apprentice he was little more than a slave until he had served his master seven years. He had no wages. The very clothes upon his back belonged to his master, but he did not, as he himself said, ‘take much.’

There were only four real rooms in the Lapham house, the two bedrooms on the second floor, the kitchen and the workshop on the first. Johnny paused in the lower entry. In the kitchen he could see his formidable mistress bent double over the hearth. Madge, in time, would look like her mother, but at eighteen she was handsome in a coarse-grained, red-faced, thick-waisted way. Dorcas was sixteen, built like Madge, but not so loud-voiced, nor as roughly good-natured. Poor Dorcas thirsted for elegance. She would rub flour on her face, trying to look pale, like the fashionable ladies she saw on the street. She wore her clothes so tight (hoping to look ethereal), she looked apoplectic. How they all had laughed when her stays burst in the middle of meeting with a loud pop! She did not call her mother ‘Ma,’ but ‘Mother,’ or ‘Respected Mother’; and in her efforts to avoid the rough, easy speech of her associates on Hancock’s Wharf she talked (when she remembered it) in a painfully prissy, proper way.

Johnny thought Madge pretty bad, and Dorcas even worse. But he was philosophical about them. He wouldn’t mind having them for sisters. They certainly were good hard workers—except when Dorcas tried too hard to be elegant.

It had already been decided that when he grew up to be a really great silversmith (as Mr. Lapham said he would), he was to marry Cilla and together they would inherit Grandpa’s silver business. Cilla was just his age. This idea seemed only mildly offensive to both of them. Johnny had no particular objections. Smart apprentices were always getting ahead by marrying into their masters’ families. He had been flattered when Mrs. Lapham had told him that he might marry one of her girls. Of course, Madge and Dorcas (they were fine, big buxom girls) would make better wives. But didn’t he think they were a little old for him? True, Cilla was just a mite spindly—but she was coming along fine. Isannah was so weakly it didn’t seem worth making any plans for her maturity. So it was to be Cilla.

Johnny had often heard Mrs. Lapham say that Isannah was hardly worth the bother she was to raise. The little girl, her beautiful brown eyes wide with interest, never seemed to mind these remarks of her mother, but they made Cilla cry. Cilla loved Isannah. She was proud when people stopped her on the street and said, ‘Is that little angel your sister?’ She did not mind that there were so many things Isannah could not ‘keep down’—like pork gravy, mince pies, new beer. If Isannah got wet, she had a cold—if a cold, a fever.

First Johnny, with a customary ‘Look sharp,’ got the sulky Dove and his buckets headed for North Square. Then he took the key to the shop out of his pocket as though he owned it. Dusty, good and quiet as a mouse, followed him.

‘Look sharp, Dusty,’ Johnny said. ‘Get the annealing furnace going. Get to the coal house. Fetch in charcoal. You’ll have to do it by yourself. I want to get this buckle mended before breakfast.’

Already the day’s bustle had begun up and down the wharf: A man was crying fish. Sailors were heave-hoing at their ropes. A woman was yelling that her son had fallen into the water. A parrot said distinctly, ‘King Hancock.’

Johnny could smell hemp and spices, tar and salt water, the sun drying fish. He liked his wharf. He sat at his own bench, before him the innumerable tools of his trade. The tools fitted into his strong, thin hands: his hands fitted the tools. Mr. Lapham was always telling him to give God thanks who had seen fit to make him so good an artisan—not to take it out in lording it over the other boys. That was one of the things Johnny ‘did not let bother him much.’

Dove came back, his thick lower lip thrust out. The water had slopped over his breeches, down his legs.

‘Mrs. Lapham does not want you in the kitchen?’—Johnny did not even look up from his buckle.


‘Well, then, this spoon you finished yesterday afternoon has to be melted down—made over. You beat it to the wrong gauge.’

‘Did Mr. Lapham say ’twas wrong?’

‘No, but it is. It is supposed to match this spoon. Look at it.’

Dove looked. There was no argument.

‘So get out a crucible. ’Soon as Dusty’s got the furnace going, you melt it down and try again.’

I’d like to get you in a crucible, thought Dove, and melt you down. I’d beat you to the proper gauge . . . Two years younger than me and look at him!

It was Isannah who ran in to tell them that Grandpa was in his chair and breakfast was on the table. The soft brown eyes combined oddly with the flying fair hair. She did look rather like a little angel, Johnny thought—just as people were always telling Cilla on the street—and so graceful. She seemed to float about rather than run.

No one, to see her, would ever guess the number of things she couldn’t keep down.

Mr. Lapham, as befitted his venerable years and his dignity as master of the house, sat in an armchair at the head of the table. He was a peaceful, kind, remote old man. Although his daughter-in-law was always nagging him to collect bills, finish work when promised, and discipline his apprentices, nothing she said seemed to touch him. He did not even bother to listen.

His dull, groping eyes lingered kindly over his boys as they trooped in for breakfast.

‘Good morning, Dove, Dusty. Good morning, Johnny.’

‘Good morning, sir.’

He took his time blessing the meal. He was a deacon at the Cockerel Church and very pious.

Breakfast was good, although no more than a poor artisan could afford—milk and ale, gruel, sausages, and corn bread. Everything was plentiful and well cooked. The kitchen was as clean or cleaner than many of those in the great houses. Every member of the household had a clean shirt or petticoat. Mrs. Lapham was a great manager, but she cared nothing for genteel manners and was the first to laugh at Dorcas’s ‘If it please you, Mother—just a touch more maple syrup for me.’ ‘Gimme that there syrup pitcher’ was good enough for her.

When the meal was over, Mr. Lapham told Madge to hand him the family Bible.

‘Johnny, I’m going to ask you to read to us today.’

Of the three boys, only Johnny read easily and well. His mother had lived long enough to see to that. Dove stumbled shamefully. Dusty usually had the first chapter of Genesis, so that by reading the same thing over and over he might eventually learn.

Madge and Dorcas never cared even to try to read. Mrs. Lapham could not so much as write her name. ‘Book larning,’ she declared, ‘scalded no pigs.’ Cilla was so anxious to learn (and teach Isannah) that whenever Johnny read she leaned over the book and shaped the words to herself as he said them. They sat beside each other at table. To help her Johnny always kept a finger on the lines as he read.

Johnny now opened the book, keeping it between himself and Cilla.

‘Where, sir, shall I read?’

Mr. Lapham’s selections for his boys were sometimes designed to point out some fault in a member of his household, especially in the reader. Dove was always being asked to read about sluggards and going to ants.

Johnny was told where to begin in Leviticus.

‘Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image . . .’ (What was old master driving at? Couldn’t a silversmith put a dragon’s snout on a chocolate pot?)

Soon the surging roll of the words, the pleasure of the sound of his voice coming so clearly out of his mouth, made him stop looking for possible object lessons in the text. Cilla was leaning over him, breathing hard in her efforts to keep up. Mrs. Lapham sat agape. Soon she’d be saying it was just like having a preacher live with them to hear Johnny Tremain read Holy Writ.

‘Finish with the nineteenth verse.’

‘. . . And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.’

‘Turn to Proverbs eleven, second verse.’

‘When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.’

‘Proverbs sixteen, eighteenth.’

‘Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.’

‘Now close the book. Stand up and expound to us all the meaning of God’s Word.’

Johnny stood up. His skin was thin and he could feel himself flush. So the old gentleman was after him for his pride again, was he?

‘It is all another way of saying—God’s way of saying—that pride goeth before a fall.’

‘Yes, and why?’

‘Because God doesn’t like pride.’ Johnny sounded sulky.

‘Do you think God would like you?’

‘Not especially.’

Dusty was the first to snicker.

‘What does God like?’

‘Humble people,’ said Johnny wrathfully. ‘He sends punishments to people who are too proud.’

‘Now, Johnny, I want you to raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I, Johnny Tremain . . .” ’

‘I, Johnny Tremain . . .’

‘Swear from this day onward . . .’

‘Swear from this day onward . . .’

‘To walk more humbly and modestly before God and man.’

‘To walk more humbly and modestly before God and man.’

‘Just because some folks are not so smart’ (the old master gave Dove and Dusty a pitying glance), ‘it’s no reason why other folks should go around rubbing their noses in their own stupidities.’

Either Dove or Dusty kicked Johnny under the table. Madge and Dorcas were giggling. Mrs. Lapham was already scraping the trenchers clean, getting on with her work. She did not hold much by Grandpa’s soul-searchings.

The master, followed by Dove and Dusty, left for the shop.

Johnny heard Cilla give an exaggeratedly pious sigh. He stopped.

‘When the meek inherit the earth,’ she said, ‘I doubt Johnny gets as much as one divot of sod.’

This was too much for Johnny. He turned on the little girls.

When they do!’ he stormed. ‘Cill, you can just about keep your mouth shut until then.’

‘You know you did look pretty funny standing up there, and saying all those humble things Grandpa told you to.’

Isannah was almost jumping out of her pinafore in glee.

‘Johnny’s mad,’ she chanted. ‘Johnny’s mad.’

‘Yes,’ murmured Cilla, looking at him critically, ‘you’re right, baby dear. His ears are red. That always means he’s mad.’

‘Johnny’s ears are red,’ squealed Isannah.

Johnny stalked out of the kitchen as stiff-legged as a fighting tom-cat. His ears were scarlet.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is Esther Forbes at her brilliant best. She has drawn the character of Johnny with such sympathy and insight that he may take his place with Jim Hawkins, Huck Finn and other young immortals."  —BookWeek

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Johnny Tremain 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 289 reviews.
Liz4 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has been the best book that i have ever read. I am a fifth grader reading this book at the current time. We are on the chapter, the boston observer, and it is very good so far. I would reccomend this book for advanced fourth and up graders. It is a joy to read so if you are bored, do not know what to do, then you can just pick this book up and read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book and saw the movie and the book was so much better than the movie! Now I understand why my teachers always made us read the book before we watched the movie! LOVED IT!!!!!!!:D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you don't know the vocab in this book, tap and hold. It will give you options at the bottom, and click on "look up".
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing so far. Of course I'm only a little more than half way but it is emosewa. (Awesome spelled backwards meaning double awesome.) I give it 5 stars because it is well written, has a good story, and is historical and thats just the tip of the iceberg. I would very much recomend it :) By: The Awesome Reviws
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very fun and I enjoyed reading every page. This book tells abou tthe American Revolution in a cool way! Read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a WAAAAAAY awesome book, amd i am a 7th grader.
ColleenaLenna More than 1 year ago
Introduction Everybody loved Johnny Tremain except Dove. He had the hands of an artist and a mind of an adult. As young as he is he keeps all of his housemates in order and they abide by him with some rude comments. Mr.Lapham has taught him many things to being a silversmith. Description and summary of main points Then a tragity happened to young Johnny. Rushing to make Hancock's a sugar Basin, his hand got severely burned for the fault to blame is Dove. His hand is useless and now he has to struggle with out a useful hand for the rest of his life. Nobody will hire him and Mrs.Lapham doesn't favor him. Life is going no where Evaluation I believe that Johnny's life came tumbling down and that i look up to him for the dedication he has for what he believes in. My final review This book is absolutely described as a fun educational reading. Definitely, I am recommending this to others. Especially other teachers because I am a student and is thrilled that i got assigned this book because This is way better than a history book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnny Tremain has no family or no relatives. Johnny lives with the Laphems on a farm. He is a silversmith apprentice. Until he burns his hand in hot silver. He leaves the Laphems looking for work. Then he finds Rab. Rab is a printers boy who prints newspapers. Since Johnny is looking for work Rab gives him a job to deliver papers. Rab works with the sons of liberty and Johnny gets involved very quickly. He eventually volunteers to help with the boston tea party. I think this book was good. The author really gives you an idea of the setting. For example the wharf bustling with lots of people, vender, and slaves. Plus you really get an idea of what the characters look like and how they act. For example Johnny, he is cocky and brags about himself until he burns his hand. I think this book it is full good characters and good characters and good places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnny Tremain is a wonderful book for a 10 or 11 year old who is studying the Revolutionary War in school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Johnny Tremain is about a boy named, you guessed it, a 14 year-old boy named Johnny Tremain, Johnny is a boy who goes through a series of unfortunate events (Sometimes fortunate) like crippling his hand. O.K. to the story, Johnny is first waken up in the attic of his “master’s” (Mr. Lapham) house, there he goes to work as a silversmith with two other apprentices named Dusty and Dove. A man went in to the silversmiths and asked if Johnny and Mr. Lapham could make a new sugar basin, he accepts and they get right to work, Johnny has to work on the handles and he cannot seem to get the handles to be the way he wants it to be. Seems like a normal situation, right? When he asks for help by a different silversmith and finally gets the planning right, but, as he tries to melt the metal to make the handles, one of the apprentices gives him a broken tool on purpose and hot metal pours onto Johnny’s right hand. To make matters worse he has to quit his job as a silversmith, as he is job hunting the Lapham family starts to dislike him, and he can’t get a job because of his attitude and his hand. He gets a job as an employee at The Boston Observer and gets a good friend who is 16, named Rab Silsbee. Johnny Tremain works there for a long time and finds out it is a secret rebel message site thing. And as things get bad with the British later, Johnny tells you to read the book to know more.  And for my book review, I thought this book was O.K. But it did have a good plot so it did keep you interested, but some parts are boring. Also, you have to keep track of some people or you have to reread, also, it had a moderate amount of places to remember. I think it is good for people who are 11-14 because the main characters are teens,  teens read about teens. So, like I said, it was Okay/Goodish.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We read this book as a family. We have a 6 year old and 9 year old. The book was interesting and we almost couldn't put it down. It made history come alive for all of us!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a good book but it dosent include enough about the apprentice system.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read a lot of books but this is the best book I have ever read. I first had to read it in fifth grade but I didn't want to because it was long. But I loved it after I read it. Then in eight grade I had to read it again. Actually I could have read something else but I read this again for my project. The first time I had not understood it very well but the second time you read it it makes way more sence. I thank my Fifth grade teacher for making me read it and I'll never forget it, Thank you Mrs. Lenaghan. (hope I spelled it right)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Johnny Tremain was a young man. He had a very hard time with the family he stays with after his mother's death. His mother had sent him to the Lapham's before she had died. Dove, Mrs.Lapham's annoying and loud son, wants to kill Johnny because he hates Johnny and he thinks Johnny is a big show of. On the other hand Johnny is very calm and likes to keep things inside he head. In the middle of the book Johnny was asked to go to court, because Mrs.Lapham thought he had stole an expensive cup. Mrs.Lapham had kicked Johnny out of the house during the court problem. Later Johnny meets a friend and together they join the Boston Revolution. During the war he starts a new life on his own. This book would make you want to read it over and over again. I would give you this hint if you like action or war books I suggest you to read Johnny Tremain.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was never really that interested in History. I decided to choose Jonny Tremain for my Book Report. After reading it, I was into the subject! I highly recomend it to anyone learning about the revolution. This is where the fun begins!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very well written. This book has sparked my intrest in the American Revolution. After reading the book, I got on the internet and found information about Paul Revere, Sam Adams, Joseph Warren, and others. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book and and am still reading the book. It is about a boy who burns his hand and can not work for his master Mr. Lapham.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that this book was a great portrayal of what the patriots were really fighting for. It also did a good job of connecting fictional characters with non-fictional events.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can not think of anything more memorable than reading this story in my 5th grade English class in 1983. I am surprised to see that it is now not normally taught until 8th grade. I remember highlighting various parts of the book, reading and re-reading. Sixteen years later I still have that book on my shelf and read it maybe once per year, smiling at all the notes I made in the margains. It is my hope that when my children are old enough they will love the story as much as I did. I never would have given it a chance if not made to by my teacher, so to her, I say thank you!
smg5775 18 days ago
Johnny is apprenticed to a silversmith but is injured and unable to ply the silversmith trade. He searches for a new trade but has problems finding something he likes. He starts to deliver papers for a Whig printer and starts to deliver messages for the Sons of Liberty. It's been a long time since I read this. I am glad I re-read it. Set during the Revolutionary War, it brings the lead-up and the early days of the war to life. I liked Johnny and those who he came in contact with during his rides. I like that he formed a friendship with Rab. I had a clear picture of Johnny's thoughts and feelings. Written during WWII, it is very idealistic. It made me think if today's generation/society has the same idealism of freedom and liberty for all.
jckeen on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Johnny Tremain is an anchor book for Children's Historical Fiction. The classic tale of a boy growing up in colonial Boston, the story is more than just a patriotic romp against the British, though. When we first meet Johnny, he is a talented and somewhat arrogant silversmith's apprentice. A horrible accident burns and deforms his hand, however, and Johnny is transformed. He becomes morose and unsure of himself.When he goes to work for a printer, he winds up meeting members of the Sons of Liberty. There he learns about the issues facing Boston under British rule. As he takes up with the Patriots, Johnny begins to learn more about himself as well. He matures and gains more confidence.Having family in Boston, and loving history, I enjoyed all of the references to local Boston places. For anyone who reads this novel and ever walks that city's streets, it is hard not to think back to Johnny Tremain.