Johnny Tremain, winner of the 1943 Newbery Medal, is one of the finest historical novels ever written for children. As compelling today as it was fifty years ago, to read this riveting novel is to live through the defining events leading up to the American Revolutionary War seen through the eyes of a boy who turns in his smithing tools to take up a rifle and fight for the liberty of America.
Fourteen-year old Johnny Tremain, an apprentice silversmith with a bright future ahead of him, injures his hand in a tragic accident, forcing him to look for other work. In his new job as a horse-boy, riding for the patriotic newspaper, the Boston Observer, and as a messenger for the Sons of Liberty, he encounters John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Dr. Joseph Warren. Soon Johnny is involved in the pivotal events shaping the American Revolution from the Boston Tea Party to the first shots fired at Lexington.
Powerful illustrations by American artist Michael McCurdy, bring new life to Ether Forbes' quintessential novel of the American Revolution.
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
On rocky islands gulls woke. Time to be about their business. Silently they Rooted in on the town, but when their icy eyes sighted die first dead fish, Am bits of garbage about the ships and wharves they began to scream and quarrel.
The cocks in Boston back yards bad 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 for and deep. 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 cad, 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, got to the barn, milk the cow and drive her to the Common. Start the fire Silas. Put on a dean shirt, James. Dolly, it you aren't up before I count ten...
And so, in a crooked little house at the head of Hancock' on crowded Fish Street, Mrs. Lapham stood at the foot of a ladder leading to the attic where her fathe-in-law's apprentices slept. These boys were luckier than most apprentices. Their master was too feeble to climb 1adders; the middle-aged mistress too stout. It was only her bellows that could penetrate to their quarters -- not her heavy hands.
"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."
What People are Saying About This
"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