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Johnny Tremain


Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes


"Johnny Tremain" is a historical fiction novel set in Boston during the turbulent times leading up to the American Revolution. It is renowned for its rich portrayal of the era, winning the prestigious Newbery Award in 1944.

Plot Summary

The story revolves around Johnny Tremain, a young apprentice silversmith who suffers a tragic injury that alters his life's course. Unable to continue his craft, he becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty. The novel vividly describes the events leading to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington through Johnny's experiences.


  • Johnny Tremain: The protagonist, whose personal growth and experiences provide a window into the American Revolution.
  • James Otis, John Hancock, and the Adams Brothers: Prominent historical figures who play significant roles in the unfolding events and Johnny's life.


  • The Struggle for Freedom: The novel explores the ideas of liberty and freedom, set against the backdrop of the American Revolution.
  • Personal Growth and Resilience: Johnny's journey from a skilled apprentice to a passionate participant in the revolution illustrates themes of resilience and personal development.


The book has been praised for its engaging narrative and historical accuracy. It is considered a staple in young adult literature for its ability to weave historical facts with a compelling story.

Educational Value

"Johnny Tremain" is lauded for its educational value, providing young readers with insights into American history from a personal perspective. It is a recommended read for understanding the complexities of the Revolutionary era.


Esther Forbes's "Johnny Tremain" remains a seminal work in historical fiction for young readers, offering a blend of adventure, historical depth, and character development. It's a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in illuminating significant historical events.