by Esther Forbes
Johnny Tremain Resources
The author of Johnny Tremain died in 1967, well before the existence of the Internet in any recognizable form. Good thing being dead doesn't stop you from having a Goodreads page.
This is the official page for Minute Man National Historic Site, which is a park that commemorates and educates visitors about the Battles of Lexington and Cambridge. Want to see where the final chapter of Johnny Tremain happens? Give Minute Man National Historic Site a virtual visit.
Johnny's burned hand doesn't keep him from hoofing it all over Boston, and now you can, too. Check out the Johnny Tremain walking tours to give your visit to Boston a literary flair.
Movie or TV Productions
Yeah, that's a thing. We won't spoil it for you, but be warned that the movie is very different from the book in a number of key ways. Johnny still burns his hand, but the focus is less on the development of Johnny's character and more on the Sons of Liberty. The battles are bloodless and nobody gets hurt. Rab doesn't even die. So… there goes accuracy.
Articles and Interviews
In this January 2006 article in The Lion and the Unicorn, Eric L. Tribunella argues that Johnny Tremain is intentionally structured as a series of unfinished stories that leave the reader dissatisfied.
In this June 1989 article in The Lion and the Unicorn, Hamida Bosmajian shows how Forbes changes elements of the hero quest to fit Johnny's situation and takes issue with the idea that young people should be willing to die for vague ideals.
In this Fall 2008 article in Early American Studies, Neil L. York examines both Forbes's book and Disney's film and argues that both have the intention of training American young people to be patriots.
This is a trailer for Disney's 1957 film version of Johnny Tremain. Even these short snippets show how different the movie is from the book. For one thing, in the movie, Johnny fights in the Battle of Lexington without a musket. We really thought you were smarter than that, Johnny.
Apparently, Disney loved this book, because he based a whole section of Disneyland on it. He just didn't love it enough to make the movie remotely faithful to the book.
Two audiobook versions of Johnny Tremain are available on Audible.
Here's another place to download a Johnny Tremain audiobook.
Is it just us, or does Johnny look entirely too serious and maybe a little sick?
What's up with that hair? We don't even know. Did everyone look like this in the 1940s or something?
If you need to get your bearings in Johnny's world, check out these maps of Colonial Boston from the Boston Public Library.