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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery + Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 990L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Flash Point; 1 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596434864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596434868
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–American history is brought to life in this engaging story of revolution and treason. Most people know very little about Benedict Arnold–only that he was a traitor during the American War of Independence. Sheinkin recounts the tale of a larger-than-life persona, from his uncertain boyhood to his immense popularity as an unpredictable, yet brilliant, commander in the American army, and finally, to his end days, living in London, despised and disgraced. The story of Arnold's bravery and his rise in the esteem of the colonists is played out against the political squabbling and fears the Continental Congress had about military figures becoming too powerful and upsetting the delicate democracy they were busy creating. Through letters, journals, historic accounts, and other resources, Sheinkin keeps readers wanting to know what will happen next. Short, episodic chapters titled with relevant dates are an effective way to pace various battles–on the field and off–and understand their place in the larger picture of the war. Other key figures are well developed in the narrative. Seeing a glimpse of these personalities makes their subsequent actions believable and meaningful. The Notorious Benedict Arnold is likely to make readers want to learn more about the American Revolution and its players, great and small. Source notes at the end of the book allow them to do just that.–Karen Elliott, Grafton High School, WIα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

History junkies are in for a treat when they pick up this lively, highly readable biography of the U.S.’ most vilified traitor. Emphasizing Arnold’s reckless, adventurous side, Sheinkin, who admits to being a longtime admirer of the infamous figure, makes a good case for why Americans have cause to embrace the general’s early incarnation as a heroic icon of the Revolution. Without his impetuous personality and willingness to hurl himself into a fray, the war might well have been lost before the French directed their might our way. Arnold’s fall also becomes understandable, if inexcusable, in Sheinkin’s hands. How much did his wounds, colossal ego, and need for money sway him to become a potential betrayer? Weaving in the story of John André, Arnold’s British contact, creates an atmosphere of suspense. When will they finally meet? How close will they come to throwing the war? Copious source notes and quotation notes will lead both report writers and avid enthusiasts to additional materials. A worthy addition to all libraries. Grades 6-9. --Karen Cruze

More About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several exciting books on American history for young adults. His 2012 title BOMB: THE RACE TO BUILD AND STEAL THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS WEAPON, was awarded a Newbery Honor, won the Sibert Medal, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. His book THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD won both the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His most recent titles are LINCOLN'S GRAVE ROBBERS, a true-crime thriller, and EL ILUMINADO, a graphic novel written with Ilan Stavans. Steve lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Very good reading and super informative.
Charles F Hudson
Steve Sheinkin's "The Notorious Benedict Arnold" is a work which causes consternation to historians and excitement for readers.
Dr. Ivan Kolozsvari
Nevertheless, I highly recommend this book.
Dienne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Ivan Kolozsvari on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Steve Sheinkin's "The Notorious Benedict Arnold" is a work which causes consternation to historians and excitement for readers. It is a dismay for professionals because the story lay there for two hundred years, mentioned in history classes and accepted unquestionably as the ultimate betrayal of the American Revolution. It's thrilling for readers because of the way Sheinkin peels away the layers that made up the individual who embodied the classic Greek tragedy, giving us a front row seat for Arnold's the spectacular rise to heroism and stunning fall to treachery and infamy.

What makes Sheinkin's work astonishing is that he presents a modern man with all the strengths and frailties. The writer strictly adheres to the rules of historical research whereby he only uses documentation written or carved in stone, yet he comes away with a complex individual without the hate which enveloped Benedict Arnold for two centuries, allowing the reader to wrestle with the enigma of this character. And Sheinkin does this with the page-turner style which has became his trademark way of reaching young readers.

As much as other Revolutionary general, Benedict Arnold contributed to the success of the United States' young army. France was hell-bent on undermining England's hegemony in the world, but hesitant to commit resources to the ragtag colonial army. George Washington, the able former British officer, was losing every battle against the professional English army and their paid Hessian mercenaries. While Benjamin Franklin was biting his nails in Paris and hoping for some victory to convince his host to allocate funds and support to the Colonies, Washington carried out a kind of partisan warfare, moving his men after each defeat and attacking the cumbersome enemy chasing them.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christina Frei on August 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of the Founding Fathers (and mothers). I could read about John Adams from now until I croke. The only reason I picked up this book was that Steve Sheinkin wrote one of my favorite books on this topic: King George III, What Was His Problem? So I knew it would be readable and fun from the start.

Because I perform programs about the Founding Fathers for schools, I'm always on the lookout for great books to recommend to kids. This is now officially on my list.

Steve is a gifted story teller, getting to the action at every step. It reads like an action novel, though you're learning all about this haughty, impatient man from Connecticut and Rhode Island, who could have ruined everything for our revolution. Who knew that CT had such spicy characters in its past? David McCullough always says that you learn history through story. Well, if that's the case, then this is a great book for that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Wiles Parker VINE VOICE on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The word 'traitor' is just about synonymous with Benedict Arnold in American history courses. Steve Sheinkin's book, however, would suggest that there is a lot more to the story than betrayal of one's country. Benedict Arnold is at turns heroic, brave, greedy, and reckless. Here is a man who would do anything to save his country even if it means becoming a traitor, something he never thought himself to be.
Think you don't like nonfiction? This book is full of interesting historical nuggets told in a gripping novel fashion. The author did plenty of research to back up any and all claims made in the book as well as uncover the truth behind the real man Benedict Arnold. I could not put this book down. It's fast paced and thrilling, slowing down just enough to give the reader a sense of place and time and then moving on to the next event. In other words, The Notorious Benedict Arnold makes history enjoyable, fun, and above all else, entertaining on top of being accessible to both younger readers and those who enjoy a good biography. Get this book even if you hate history. It's so good you'll find yourself siding with Arnold from time to time even when you feel you shouldn't.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Whtmtn on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When the librarian at our middle school mentioned she overheard boys at lunch quoting scenes from Steve Sheinkin's book The Notorious Benedict Arnold, I immediately ordered a copy for my son. He was no different from his classmates and practically read through the night to finish it. Then it was my turn. My experience was the same. The book is indeed a page turner not because of any fictional plot devices but because there were so many cliffhanger incidents in Arnold's life. Sheinkin brilliantly tells Arnold's tale in a strikingly original style by speaking directly to the reader (I would give an example but I have already loaned the book to my neighbor). Sheinkin is also able to give these historical figures a pulse, no doubt the result of his extensive research. I now know why this book created such a stir at my son's school - the action and adventure that takes place in this book is real and is brought to life by Mr. Sheinkin and there is something powerful about real life.
Steve Sheinkin'sThe Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery [Hardcover](2010)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbarino VINE VOICE on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for some books to read with my ten year old daughter when I came across this one. I was interested in learning something about Benedict Arnold, I recently stumbled across the fact that he was a brave soldier of the Revolution before his error in judgment and fall from grace.

I was impressed with Steve Sheinkin's writing style and thought he did an excellent job of portraying Benedict Arnold as a human being with strengths and flaws. I really didn't know much about Arnold and now that I've read this I want to learn more.

I think this would be an excellent book to share with High School and Middle School students learning about the Revolutionary War. But I also recommend it to readers of all ages who are curious about Benedict Arnold.
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