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Johnny Tremain
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About the Author

Esther Forbes received the Pulitzer Prize for history for "Paul Revere and the World He Lived In." "From the Paperback edition."

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Gr 4-8‘Esther Forbes classic Newbery winner of 1944 comes to life again for a whole new generation of youngsters who missed the 1960's Disney film version of the book. While many books and films of those eras appear dated and are unappealing to today's youth, Johnny Tremain still evokes the ideals and passions leading up to the Revolutionary War. The stirring speeches of Samuel Adams and James Otis that defined the principals of freedom ring true across the years. Most historical videos produced today do not openly promote patriotism as did the films of a prior generation, so Johnny Tremain will be something of a new experience for today's students. Purchase this fine live-action video not just because it is an entertaining rendition of the book, or because it clearly delineates the revolutionary ideals, but also because it is a good introduction to daily life in colonial Boston. Viewers will see a printing press in action, learn about the apprentice system, observe silversmithing, learn about the pervasive influence of Puritanism on daily life, and quickly realize the advantage the American militiamen had over the scarlet coated British troops. This video would be an excellent "hook" to use in media center or classroom units of Newbery reading to encourage students to read some of the older titles whose outside covers and number of pages often turn off readers. It would be equally at home in American history classes with its many facets of the early American experience. All public libraries and schools that teach American history should place this great video on their needs list.‘Linda R. Skeele, Western Elementary School, Georgetown, KY

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