Parents' Guide to

Johnny Tremain

By Jennifer Docherty, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sweeping tale of redcoats, revolutionaries, and brave boy.

Johnny Tremain Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 8+

This book is horrible

This book is horrible
age 11+

Johnny Tremain--A book with dynamic benefits

I learned much from this book and I'm near 40. It is a wonderful companion to have on your side as you teach American History at the time near the Boston Tea Party. It makes history come alive and we watched Daniel Boone everyday while we read it. My favorite part is: "So that a man can stand up"--it speaks to adults as well as children because it is a QUALITY book. There is as much historical fact as there is fiction--if not more fact. We went to Youtube and saw the setting of the book :)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (16 ):

This sweeping tale of redcoats and revolutionaries has a lot to offer. Esther Forbes' brilliant characterizations in immerse readers in this turbulent era of America's past. Seeing JOHNNY TREMAIN's impulsive actions and hasty judgments questioned by the more mature Rab, Johnny's character slowly develops, and his efforts to become a sensible, courageous young man are often poignant and endearing.

Forbes, a historian, writes with detail and precision, imbuing historical events with life and passion that is often lacking in textbooks. The Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere's ride, and the battles at Lexington and Concord are all powerfully portrayed. Forbes also shows the daily life of the working class in the colonies, illustrating the social order against which the revolutionaries fought. Written in the 1940s, the novel is sometimes a bit dry by today's standards. And the African-American characters conform to stereotypes and have only marginal involvement in the events that take place. But parents and teachers can provide the cultural-historical context of such characterizations and omissions.

Book Details

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