Esther Forbes May Lamberton Becker

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May Lamberton Becker

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The sub-title [of "Johnny Tremain"], "a novel for old or young," will serve if you bear in mind that the young will read for Johnny's sake and the old for the sake of Esther Forbes. Here is history treated with a realism that may be an eye-opener to boys' books. The Revolution goes through the story with a rush and scramble and in its surge men and boys alike are caught up. The inside of people's minds often has as much to do with the story as the outside layer of their actions. This is adult treatment but the establishment of Johnny's relationship to the Lytes has the curve of a juvenile plot. The book's chief value is that it brings back Boston and the road to Lexington is a year when boys of sixteen had to be adult. (p. 8)

May Lamberton Becker, in New York Herald Tribune Book Review (© I.H.T. Corporation; reprinted by permission), November 21, 1943.