"Johnny Tremain" By Esther Forbes

Essay by Darth-RevanJunior High, 8th grade October 2006

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"Johnny Tremain, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in the danger and excitement of Boston in the 1770s, just before the Revolutionary War." When I first read this on the back of the book "Johnny Tremain" I thought the book would exceed at making me beg for more pages at the end, boy was I wrong. When it comes to details about the setting and characters this book has just to many characters and not enough details about Boston. If didn't know about the capitol of Massachusetts I would have guessed this city was just some small port town, when in reality during the 1770s Boston was a large, complex, and important city in Massachusetts. This book is very adverse, there are so many characters thrown at you at the beginning of the book with so few details. These facts lead me to the thesis of my book review this book lacks in Character details, historically true settings, and it is about a time in history that is very depressing but this isn't even figured out until half way through the book.

irst, in the book we are introduced to about eight characters at once, which wouldn't be bad if the author had been rational and the important details were left in and the huge amount of details that will never be important in the story had been taken out. Like for instance: "In revolutionary Boston, Johnny Tremain is an apprentice in the household of Mr. Lapham, an old master silversmith who lives with a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Lapham, and his four grandchildren: Madge, Dorcas, Cilla, and Isannah." This gives absolutely no details about some characters that are very important latter on in the story.

"Johnny serves with two other apprentice boys, Dove and Dusty." Again to few details to understand whom these characters are, these details are revealed in very small amounts, very slowly. So therefore there is not enough details about the important characters so you cannot fully understand and enjoy the early parts of the story until these details are barely revealed later on.

Next, the historically true settings compared to the setting of this book is terrible, Boston is made into just another small town when really during those times it was really a large and important port city. The loyalists are made into a large group when really almost all people in Boston were Patriots. "They were firing squads" this is one of the only historically true part of the story is that the British would persecute and kill deserters, rebels, and thieves. "The firing squads were meant to search and destroy rebels and deserters." This is one of the only other historical examples in the book and explains the use of British soldiers before the Revolutionary War began. So furthermore, the book has very few historical examples concerning the setting.

Additionally, this time in history is very depressing making the semi-happy beginning part of the story seem to contradict the true history of the time period. The story takes place 3 years after the Boston Massacre, and ends right after the battle at Lexington and assault of the Patriots munitions stored at Concord. "It was only 3 years after the Boston Massacre, and the people of Boston were split between the poor Patriots and the rich Loyalists." The battle of Lexington is very depressing because one of Johnny's friends gets mortally wounded in the British regiment's first volley. " Most citizens of Boston that can't raise enough money for learning a specific trade will have to reduce themselves to thievery." In light of this, this book is very depressing because of the time it takes place during.

Lastly, this book lacks detail of characters, Historically accurate settings, and is very depressing. This book I suggest to no one because I t is flawed in all of those ways. In my opinion this book should have never been written with such a semi-happy beginning but a totally depressing middle and end. What I learned most from this book is basically how one went about becoming a silversmith and how a silversmith works and how they are valued to that period in histories society. So I will leave you thinking, why would the author write such a depressing book? How did she go about getting it approved as 8th grade reading book when it was much to depressing for me? I felt like calling Johnny Tremain a loser for some of the stupid things he did.