Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Did You Know? Johnny Tremain

This week, I decided to find out a little bit more about one of my favorite children's historical fiction novel, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I have not read this book in a number of years. I've decided that I've got to go back and read it again!

Did You Know...
  • According to Publisher's Weekly, Johnny Tremain is the 16th most popular children's paperback of all time? This was as of 2001.
  • Johnny Tremain won the 1944 Newbery Medal?
  • Esther Forbes began writing the book the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed? She finished it in 1943, two years later.
  • In addition to the Newbury Medal, Esther Forbes won the Pulitzer Prize? She won that her biography of Paul Revere.
  • Esther Forbes was an editor and journalist? She worked at Houghton Mifflin and wrote for the Boston Evening Transcript.
  • Forbes' mother helped her with the research for Johnny Tremain?
  • Esther Forbes wrote a number of historical novels set in New England before writing Johnny Tremain? 
  • Clark University awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters degree?
  • She was the first woman member of the American Antiquities Society?
  • She willed all royalties from her books to the American Antiquities Society after her death?
All in all, a fascinating person. I would have loved to have met her and picked her brain on New England history during the Revolution. I think I'll have to see if I can get my hands on some of her other books, especially Paul Revere and the World He Lived In. 

This week, the clip I'm including is a promo from the Disney film version of Johnny Tremain. I recommend this film. Disney cuts some deaths out of the picture, but it's still reasonably true to the book, especially compared to some film adaptations of the mid 20th century.

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