Turning the last page of Johnny Tremain evoked audible sighs all around the room. What an experience to live in Boston during the latter half of the 1700s over the past few weeks!

Author Esther Forbes introduced us to a plethora of interesting characters a few years before the Revolutionary War took place. They developed and grew, both in age and experience, throughout the intriguing plot, and we felt as though we had fully integrated into the community of Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams.

Forbes wrote this exceptional work of historical fiction during World War 2, and I appreciate the influence this environment had on her writing.

Instead of a mere “us vs. them” war time tale of winners and losers, Johnny Tremain emphasizes the humanity of a wide range of people negatively affected by pride, both on personal and political level. There is no room to delight in bloodshed, yet resistance to tyranny is encouraged as the right thing to do.

I had to edit a little for language while reading (probably less than ten times), but I would still commend Johnny Tremain to anyone looking for a tremendous living book on Early American history. Appropriate (with language edits) for ages 12+, or as a read aloud for the whole family.