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The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

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Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America's first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale. The N Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America's first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale. The Notorious Benedict Arnold is the winner of the 2011 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.


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Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America's first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale. The N Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America's first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale. The Notorious Benedict Arnold is the winner of the 2011 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.

30 review for The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    This was great. Arnold is simply a footnote, The Traitor, an expression, but never a real person. His heroism has been lost due to his treachery. But who was he? How could he go from one of the most heroic figures of the Revolutionary War to the most despised? Why would he have done that? This book makes no apologies for Arnold, but it does give a good accounting of the whole man. A few times, it was a bit simplistic in explaining situations, but I think that enhanced rather than detracted. Ther This was great. Arnold is simply a footnote, The Traitor, an expression, but never a real person. His heroism has been lost due to his treachery. But who was he? How could he go from one of the most heroic figures of the Revolutionary War to the most despised? Why would he have done that? This book makes no apologies for Arnold, but it does give a good accounting of the whole man. A few times, it was a bit simplistic in explaining situations, but I think that enhanced rather than detracted. There are plenty of texts that tell the other stories & it's just fair that someone finally took a better look at him. I loved the way the book wound up. Sheinkin was right. If Arnold had died at Saratoga rather than just been wounded, he would have been one of the most revered & heroic figures of the war. As it is, the only monument to him is ... well, read the book. It was very well written & read. Wonderful as an audio book. Added 2019 this is a link to an article by W. Hodding Carter IV "Retracing Benedict Arnold's Foolhardy Upstream Voyage" which was one prong of an attack on Quebec. Arnold led 1100 men through the wilds of Maine in great hardship & made it, even though half the men deserted. He went on to keep the British too busy for their liking. Carter's account is fantastic. From building their own boat to all the help they received on the way, he makes a great story of it filled with drama & humor. https://www.outsideonline.com/2328066...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mara

    If you’re wandering around Saratoga National Park, you might come across an odd sculpture of a boot/leg with a cryptic dedication: In memory of the "most brilliant soldier" of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of BORGOYNES GREAT WESTERN REDOUBT 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General. You might think that it was some sort of twisted riff on the Tomb If you’re wandering around Saratoga National Park, you might come across an odd sculpture of a boot/leg with a cryptic dedication: In memory of the "most brilliant soldier" of the Continental Army who was desperately wounded on this spot the sally port of BORGOYNES GREAT WESTERN REDOUBT 7th October, 1777 winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General. You might think that it was some sort of twisted riff on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but you would be wrong. This disembodied limb belonged to none other than The Notorious Benedict Arnold. But, of course, I’m getting ahead of myself! First, allow me to point out something I failed to notice before diving in, which is that this book is YA non-fiction . It’s no big secret, and it isn’t a bad thing. I just got over enthusiastic about the life of BA after reading a review of Washington’s Spies (thanks a lot Jeffrey!), and a few clicks later was listening away. So, I’ll try my best to judge this book with its target audience in mind. The eponymous Benedict Arnold was actually the sixth to bear his name. The first one was alternately president and governor of the Colony of Rhode Island, while the fifth was an older brother who died as an infant, and I guess his parents just really wanted to carry on that name. Young Benedict was a bit of a prankster with a flare for the dramatic, especially when it would turn heads in his direction. This was all well and good (though perhaps a bit dangerous) when he was performing disappearing acts on the struts of the town mill wheel, but took a darker turn when he was at boarding school parading atop a barn that had, somehow, burst into flames. With revolution in the air, Benedict found an outlet for his swashbuckling penchant for derring-do, and joined up with the Continental Army with the outbreak of war in 1775. After clearing up the siege of Boston, Arnold (who was always good at taking initiative), suggested that they might consider seizing Fort Ticonderoga, which went splendidly (though some of the credit goes to Ethan Allen). If there was ever a man who sought external approval from “Army” (best shown through awards such as a seal for marksmanship and/or a gorilla for sand racing), it was Benedict Arnold. I don’t know if it was a case of mommy/daddy issues or what, but when overlooked by superiors for promotions and the like, Arnold had a tendency act quite the petulant child and also do kind of crazy things- for example, invade the Socialist Republic of Canada.* I’ve been through the mountains of Maine and the Kennebec river in the relatively cushy summer months, so I speak with some authority when I say that marching/portaging an army from Boston to Quebec with winter on the way, is kind of a death wish. And, for a few hundred of the troops, I’d be spot on. Here’s the thing, results aside, Benedict was basically doing things this way because he didn't get to be Agent in Command (or Captain-Colonel, or Obermeisterführer or whatever) of the first expedition to Canada (an honor that went to Allen). This cycle of acts of valor, lack of recognition, and subsequent pouting becomes a bit of "a thing" for Arnold. And, of course, therein lies his downfall. Arnold had legitimate grievances, but he also needed to take a break and count to ten before making any decisions about whether or not to betray his country. This is where my rating might be a bit higher with the "young adult" market in mind. Author Steve Sheinkin drives home the point (as illustrated by the Saratoga monument) that, were it not for his last traitorous act, Benedict Arnold would have been a hero in the eyes of history. If only someone had reminded Arnold that no one likes a tattle-tale before he crossed the proverbial Rubicon, he may have made different choices. Traitors, it turns out, do not get a hero's welcome on either side of the pond. Bummer, Benedict! * Not a real thing.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Penny Johnson

    Forget this is a nonficton book. Think of it rather as a swashbuckling adventure novel! It would make a great movie! Picture Benedict Arnold as the reckless, anti-authority hero who gets himself into a lot of tough situations but always manages to get the bad guy in the end. (I'm thinking of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films or Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon films. Old examples, I know, but hey, I'm a grandmother!) This book was a finalist for the 2012 YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction Forget this is a nonficton book. Think of it rather as a swashbuckling adventure novel! It would make a great movie! Picture Benedict Arnold as the reckless, anti-authority hero who gets himself into a lot of tough situations but always manages to get the bad guy in the end. (I'm thinking of Bruce Willis in the Die Hard films or Mel Gibson in the Lethal Weapon films. Old examples, I know, but hey, I'm a grandmother!) This book was a finalist for the 2012 YALSA Excellence in Young Adult Nonfiction award. Author Steve Sheinken gave us his background via a video at an ALA Midwinter reception. He had always been fascinated by Benedict Arnold's story. As a textbook writer he often tried to shine a spotlight on this American hero turned anti-hero but was always rebuffed. So he finally decided to write his own book! And what a story it is!! I had no idea Arnold was such an important figure in the Revolutionary War. He was responsible for the American victory at Saratoga, the battle considered the turning point in the war. He was a high-ranking general who saw more action and exhibited more passion than George Washington himself. By the time he makes that really poor choice....well, by then I really liked him! This is a fascinating and exciting account of politics and warfare and a ragtag bunch of colonials who really had no chance of defeating the biggest empire in the world. But they did. And Benedict Arnold was in the middle of it all. No swearing, but lots of cannons, swords and muskets! A great choice for tweens and teens and history-loving grown-ups like me!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I have read in quite some time. It is the story of a true American hero, patriot, and General who betrayed his country. The writing is action packed and engrossing. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I admit, I did not know much about Benedict Arnold, other than what everyone else learned about him back in 4th grade history class - he was in the Revolutionary war and the most infamous US traitor. What I never knew was what predicated the decision to switch sides, and what he was like as a person. The thing that stuck with me most was something written at the end of the book - that had he not switched sides, Benedict Arnold would have been remembered as the most important hero of the Revoluti I admit, I did not know much about Benedict Arnold, other than what everyone else learned about him back in 4th grade history class - he was in the Revolutionary war and the most infamous US traitor. What I never knew was what predicated the decision to switch sides, and what he was like as a person. The thing that stuck with me most was something written at the end of the book - that had he not switched sides, Benedict Arnold would have been remembered as the most important hero of the Revolutionary War after George Washington.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett

    I'm not really sure what I think of this book. At times I was totally into it and couldn't put it down. Other times, I was pretty bored. :-/ Overall, I am glad that I read it. Steve Sheinkin is a great writer and Benedict Arnold was a jerk. I'm not really sure what I think of this book. At times I was totally into it and couldn't put it down. Other times, I was pretty bored. :-/ Overall, I am glad that I read it. Steve Sheinkin is a great writer and Benedict Arnold was a jerk.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sean Black

    This book was the worst book I have read it was not interesting and had no action.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wilson

    When reading most books its fun to not know how it ends. The suspense of what is coming is what makes it engaging but with the Notorious Benedict Arnold most fans of history will know the big event that defines Arnold's life but not how his life came to that point. I found Sheinkin's writing to be very affective at slowly building the tension as you see Arnold's personal and professional life unraveling because you know what it leads to. Make no mistake I do not believe that Arnold's disappointm When reading most books its fun to not know how it ends. The suspense of what is coming is what makes it engaging but with the Notorious Benedict Arnold most fans of history will know the big event that defines Arnold's life but not how his life came to that point. I found Sheinkin's writing to be very affective at slowly building the tension as you see Arnold's personal and professional life unraveling because you know what it leads to. Make no mistake I do not believe that Arnold's disappointments and slights justify betraying your men and country but I have a much better understanding of why it happened.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Knab

    Benedict Arnold, my favorite traitor! Aaron Burr was a traitor. James Wilkinson, while not labeled “traitor”, was at least despicable. There were others, but none as dynamic and celebrated as Benedict Arnold whose name became synonymous with “traitor.” “He was a thrill seeker, a natural athlete, a born show-off.” “He longed for action, craved attention, and bristled at anything he perceived as criticism or disrespect.” He was a loyal patriot and a dashing hero of the American Revolution, until he wa Benedict Arnold, my favorite traitor! Aaron Burr was a traitor. James Wilkinson, while not labeled “traitor”, was at least despicable. There were others, but none as dynamic and celebrated as Benedict Arnold whose name became synonymous with “traitor.” “He was a thrill seeker, a natural athlete, a born show-off.” “He longed for action, craved attention, and bristled at anything he perceived as criticism or disrespect.” He was a loyal patriot and a dashing hero of the American Revolution, until he wasn’t. He was impatient and hot-headed, he led his men into battle like a madman. If things weren’t going the way he thought they should, he took matters into his own hands. His brilliant strategies saved and inspired the young nation. Over and over again, he showed his valor, daring, intelligence, and fierce loyalty; in the taking of Fort Ticonderoga and Saint John in May of 1775, the Battle of Quebec December 1775, Battle of the Cedars, the Battle of Valcor Island in October 1776, Battle of Ridgefield, Relief of Fort Stanwix, and Battles of Saratoga September 1777. He used his own fortune to fund the grueling trek through the wilderness of northern New England to Quebec, implementing a plan he devised for a two-prong attack in coordination with General Montgomery for which he was never reimbursed. He was wounded by a ball through the flesh below his left knee in Quebec. At Saratoga a bullet sliced through his left leg, and the bone was further shattered as his horse landed on it, leaving him a cripple. In spite of his heroism, bravery, and sacrifices, he made enemies along the way including John Brown, James Easton, Moses Hazen, Henry Gates, and Joseph Reed. These men felt they had a score to settle with Arnold and went out of their way to ruin his reputation and tarnish his name, spreading rumors that he had sacked Montreal for his own personal gain. General Gates didn’t even mention his name when he reported on the victory at Saratoga which Arnold had a major role in achieving. Continental Congress passed him over for promotion, while other officers claimed credit for some of his accomplishments. Congress repeatedly refused to give him the respect he felt he deserved. Crippled, frustrated and bitter, he arrived in Philadelphia as the newly appointed military governor where he overstepped his authority by sending 12 wagons owned by the state of Pennsylvania (to be used for government business only) to Egg Harbor, New Jersey to rescue the cargo from the Charming Nancy. When the wagons returned to Philadelphia the merchandise was sold for an enormous profit and split between Arnold and the captain of the Nancy. Arnold even made secret agreements with merchants to buy expensive food and wine while the stores were embargoed by the government. With his newfound wealth he offended the citizens of Philadelphia with his excesses, riding around town in a stylish new carriage, furnishing his house with new furniture, hiring a large staff etc. He became even more notorious for entertaining the Tory ladies, especially one teenage Peggy Shippen. He purchased Mount Pleasant, a mansion on 90 acres overlooking the Schuylkill River, to impress Peggy’s father and convince him he had the capital to support Peggy. People began to wonder where Arnold was getting his money. Joseph Reed, head of the Pennsylvania Executive Council, launched an investigation which resulted in Arnold being charged with illegal purchases while the shops were closed, illegal use of public wagons for private gain, disrespectful treatment of militiaman, and disrespect toward the leaders of Pennsylvania. When he was 38 and Peggy was 18, they married. Then the money ran out and he could no longer afford the lavish lifestyle Peggy expected. He was now deeply in debt, with a young wife and infant son. He was borrowing to pay his bills, and enraged at Congress for the slights he felt they dealt him. His antics in battle had impressed the British, but they never dreamed he would switch to their side. If he had remained loyal, he would have gone done in history as one of the greatest and most beloved heroes of the American Revolution. Oh, Benedict!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    I am reviewing this book from the perspective of the Christian worldview. For most American, no name symbolizes betrayal and treason like the name Benedict Arnold. Yet for most people, no other historical details usually accompany the name besides the fact that he lived during the Revolutionary War and eventually sided with the British. This book is an excellent read of the story of Benedict Arnold and the author wrote it in a narrative form that feels like a novel. Halfway into the book my mind I am reviewing this book from the perspective of the Christian worldview. For most American, no name symbolizes betrayal and treason like the name Benedict Arnold. Yet for most people, no other historical details usually accompany the name besides the fact that he lived during the Revolutionary War and eventually sided with the British. This book is an excellent read of the story of Benedict Arnold and the author wrote it in a narrative form that feels like a novel. Halfway into the book my mind started comparing Benedict Arnold to Judas who betrayed Jesus; not that the two committed the same level of betrayal but the journey were similar in that they were on one side before their allegiance switched—and switched over for the sake of money. This is a story of someone who was ambitious from the start—in the beginning of the revolutionary we read of a businessman name Benedict Arnold who hilariously went up to a group of militia from another state and audaciously told them he has authorization from his own state to be their commanders. Despite the soldiers laughing, Benedict Arnold went on to become one of America’s finest general who was highly esteemed by none other than Washington himself. Arnolds’ exploits of military genius and courage is also balanced by problems that always arise whenever he has free time and has to deal with politics. It definitely confirms the principle that free time often gives us time to entertain our inner depraved thoughts, what all of us if we truly understand our hearts ought to be careful of. Also, Arnold’s inability to understand the politics around him—whether it’s inter-colonial rivalries or the jealousy of Continental Congress over the military—only led to his frustration and paranoia of assuming that there people really out to destroy him with defamation. This wasn’t help when he was bypassed for promotion or had commanders who didn’t report fairly his contribution in battles. These seed of wanting recognition more than he got led him to eventually turn against the very cause he was fighting for—and willing to now turn his allegiance to the British. How Arnold was caught is itself an amazing story of providence. Matter fact the whole story of Arnold’s military life is filled with many acts of providences that is more than mere coincidences. I recommend this book for one’s reading pleasure and perhaps some lesson about human nature and man’s condition—then and now.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This definitely qualifies for the espionage tag (in the group Play Book Tag)! If you're into history, or biography, or adventure, or flawed heroes, you'll love this book. If you're not (like me) you just might love it anyway (as I did). Sheinkin did a lot of research, as he notes in appendices. A good fair bit of material was available, so much of what he wrote up in this relatively short book is verifiable. I do think that he may have been biased to interpretations that not all historians would a This definitely qualifies for the espionage tag (in the group Play Book Tag)! If you're into history, or biography, or adventure, or flawed heroes, you'll love this book. If you're not (like me) you just might love it anyway (as I did). Sheinkin did a lot of research, as he notes in appendices. A good fair bit of material was available, so much of what he wrote up in this relatively short book is verifiable. I do think that he may have been biased to interpretations that not all historians would agree with. Arnold is definitely seen as a sympathetic figure, for example, and almost forgivable. The author used a lot of direct quotes from primary sources, too, giving the story more of a sense of immediacy and the less-than-unfavorable light shone on Arnold more credibility. I found it to be an engrossing read and predict that many others will, too... not just the teen boys who will get encouraged by their teachers to read it. But they might be the ones most likely to empathize with the heroics and mis-judgements of this very colorful, strong, intelligent man. Usually Sheinkin is straight-up. But sometimes he slips into the vernacular a bit. "Arnold was trying to restore his honor. He got a horse. Not quite the same thing." My local library catalogued this into the adult shelves. Maybe a good strategy to help it find more readers of all ages. It does deserve to be widely read!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ruger VanWie

    This book was terrible I would rather go shopping with my mom for clothes then read another page. The one thing that I liked was.......NOTHING!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Klein

    I thought that overall it was a not great book. There were some parts of the book that were very interesting and i couldn't put the book down but some parts were the opposite. Some parts of the book were very boring and moved very slow. I feel like there was no big climax to the book. The best part of the book for me was the end. I thought that overall it was a not great book. There were some parts of the book that were very interesting and i couldn't put the book down but some parts were the opposite. Some parts of the book were very boring and moved very slow. I feel like there was no big climax to the book. The best part of the book for me was the end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathrina

    Ostensibly, this book is for young adults, but anyone who isn't interested in reading 400 dense pages of details will enjoy this swift, engaging account of an American personality we all recognize by name, but few of us can describe. Take a look at some of the reviews here, and you'll find lots of younger readers who expected not to like this, but found Sheinkin's writing so compelling that they forgot they were reading history. I came to this book after reading Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal Ostensibly, this book is for young adults, but anyone who isn't interested in reading 400 dense pages of details will enjoy this swift, engaging account of an American personality we all recognize by name, but few of us can describe. Take a look at some of the reviews here, and you'll find lots of younger readers who expected not to like this, but found Sheinkin's writing so compelling that they forgot they were reading history. I came to this book after reading Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, also by Sheinkin, another book that reads more like spy fiction than history, yet heavily and accurately researched and cited. On top of creating an accessible tone for younger readers, without condescension, Sheinkin has a great sense of humor, which he sneaks in now and then in very clever ways. In the afterward of Notorious, Sheinkin admits a years-long obsession with all things Arnold, and it's clear that his enthusiasm comes from a sincere curiosity about this unusual figure, a joy in exposing Arnold's true character based on primary sources, fitting evidential pieces together to tell his story, and not relying on contemporary analysis to do the heavy lifting. I highly recommend this one for anyone aged 10 and up who loves a good adventure tale; a great entertainment where learning happens almost by accident.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I loved this book, it was a great read and I got through it very quickly and was disappointed at the end because I didn't want it to end. The author did an excellent job and not only told Arnold's history but also took you into his mind and gave you a feel for why Arnold turned. At the beginning of the history I found it hard to believe this was the man who would betray his country. He was loyal to the colonies and defiant to the crown, refusing to pay taxes and joining up right away when the co I loved this book, it was a great read and I got through it very quickly and was disappointed at the end because I didn't want it to end. The author did an excellent job and not only told Arnold's history but also took you into his mind and gave you a feel for why Arnold turned. At the beginning of the history I found it hard to believe this was the man who would betray his country. He was loyal to the colonies and defiant to the crown, refusing to pay taxes and joining up right away when the colonies went to war with England. He was involved in the first military foray and was in many other important battles. He sacrificed his health, money, and time with his family for the country. Then he grew to hate Congress when they promoted other less deserving men over him and later put him through a court marshall. He was acquitted but this insulted him and he was well on his way to betraying the country by the time they acquitted him. The book also went briefly into his life after the war, in England and Canada where he was not very well received and he died leaving tons of debt to his wife. If he had not plotted against the country I think history would have been fair to him and all he did for this country during the war. He probably would have gone down as one of the great heroes of the Revolutionary War instead of having his name synonymous with traitor.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    Very impressive biography of Benedict Arnold. I learned so much more from Sheinkin's biography than I had ever learned in school. Going in I pretty much only knew (probably the same with so many other readers) that Arnold was infamous traitor from the American Revolution. I had no idea that he began as such a hero! If you think you don't like non-fiction, think again. This is a brilliantly told action-packed work that focuses on the real life fearless hero turned infamous villain. Sheinkin's The Very impressive biography of Benedict Arnold. I learned so much more from Sheinkin's biography than I had ever learned in school. Going in I pretty much only knew (probably the same with so many other readers) that Arnold was infamous traitor from the American Revolution. I had no idea that he began as such a hero! If you think you don't like non-fiction, think again. This is a brilliantly told action-packed work that focuses on the real life fearless hero turned infamous villain. Sheinkin's The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery is a lot more informative and interesting to read than a dry history textbook relegating Benedict Arnold's impact during the American Revolution down to a paragraph or less (in some cases one word: traitor). No buts about it, this book should be used to teach in middle schools across the county!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    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 tha 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 Middle School students learning about the Revolutionary War. But I also recommend it to readers of all ages who are curious about Benedict Arnold.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Benedict Arnold is a fascinating character and Sheinkin brings him vividly to life in this lively, informative and quite engaging portrait. This is a biography written specifically for a teenage audience but any adult reader who enjoys a gripping, good story with a compelling character will enjoy it, too. I certainly did!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bernasconi

    This book was by far one of the worst books I have ever read. It was very dull and boring and had no way of intriguing me. I had a lot of trouble just being able to finish this book. This book had few moments where I was able to read and enjoy it, But when it did the wording was great. I think I got my hopes up too high after I read the first AMAZING sentence

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Jackson

    Even though it took me a long time to read, this is a really good book about Benedict Arnold's life. The author did a great job of relating the facts in an exciting way, especially when his treachery is discovered! Even though it took me a long time to read, this is a really good book about Benedict Arnold's life. The author did a great job of relating the facts in an exciting way, especially when his treachery is discovered!

  21. 4 out of 5

    L. Sevilla

    Fairy indulging in the beginning, although all of the names and dates become rather dull with only a spark of excitement or good storytelling every once in a while. The overall story that this book tells of is a fascinating story that should be told in history books, although heavily ruins it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Baldwin

    I thought that it was a wee bit boring. I thought that because I already knew the ending I was not hooked in. I did not like how small of a character Peggy was. I did like how she was in the book at the end though. It seemed like there was no climax. Also it seemed like the author lagged on. I did like how it seemed like there was a lot of research went into the book

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nick Mosley

    i dont like this book, its boring. theres no action and its kinda slow . its not funny, cool or anything its BORING. every page i turned there was a desert in my brain, i mean i didnt pay alot of attention becouse it was sooooo boring that i would rather walk through the dessert seven times.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Bronchetti

    I wasn't a big fan of the book. It wasn't very interesting, I got bored while reading. There was some drama in the book and that was a little bit entertaining but, there wasn't really a climax so therefore I did not like this book. I wasn't a big fan of the book. It wasn't very interesting, I got bored while reading. There was some drama in the book and that was a little bit entertaining but, there wasn't really a climax so therefore I did not like this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    David

    I feel like you can't go wrong with a Steve Sheinkin book. My two favorites ("Bomb" and "Most Dangerous") were excellent and my least favorite ("The Port Chicago 50") was good. This book about Benedict Arnold is very good. As a YA book it may lack the depth and complexity serious history buffs seek but for a casual reader like me it was entertaining and informative. (I don't want to make it sound like this book is too lightweight, it appears to be very well sourced.) The short chapters kept the s I feel like you can't go wrong with a Steve Sheinkin book. My two favorites ("Bomb" and "Most Dangerous") were excellent and my least favorite ("The Port Chicago 50") was good. This book about Benedict Arnold is very good. As a YA book it may lack the depth and complexity serious history buffs seek but for a casual reader like me it was entertaining and informative. (I don't want to make it sound like this book is too lightweight, it appears to be very well sourced.) The short chapters kept the story moving along quickly. I've never been especially interested in colonial history so I approached this book with some hesitation but that reluctance was unwarranted. I didn't know the first thing about Benedict Arnold other than his reputation as a notorious traitor. There's much more to the story and it's worth knowing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I really liked this book. I love books about history and this is a great one. I loved how we got to see inside Benedict Arnold's life but still got to read about what other people thought on topics as well as Arnold. I would recommend this to anyone who loves history or just wants a interesting book I really liked this book. I love books about history and this is a great one. I loved how we got to see inside Benedict Arnold's life but still got to read about what other people thought on topics as well as Arnold. I would recommend this to anyone who loves history or just wants a interesting book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    To be honest I didn't really like this book. When I first opened this book it was really good and well written, but I feel like as it went on the author was just trying to fill up the book with random stuff. Like really boring details about Benedict's life!!!! It's like a textbook but written as a nonfiction book. Wouldn't recommend!!!! But do read if your English teacher or you have to. To be honest I didn't really like this book. When I first opened this book it was really good and well written, but I feel like as it went on the author was just trying to fill up the book with random stuff. Like really boring details about Benedict's life!!!! It's like a textbook but written as a nonfiction book. Wouldn't recommend!!!! But do read if your English teacher or you have to.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Good nonfiction for young adult readers is harder to come by than good fiction. Like cavalry over the hill, then, rides The Notorious Benedict Arnold, a book whose ending we know before we start -- but will the kids? I suppose it depends on the curriculum, when they get American history, and to what extent. But even for veterans like me, the book offers details either forgotten or never known. Benedict Arnold couldn't get out of his own personality's way. His father of the same name, a drunken d Good nonfiction for young adult readers is harder to come by than good fiction. Like cavalry over the hill, then, rides The Notorious Benedict Arnold, a book whose ending we know before we start -- but will the kids? I suppose it depends on the curriculum, when they get American history, and to what extent. But even for veterans like me, the book offers details either forgotten or never known. Benedict Arnold couldn't get out of his own personality's way. His father of the same name, a drunken disgrace, lit the fire of ambition and shame in his son at a young age. Conveniently enough, the Revolutionary War would provide the backdrop Benedict needed to show his mettle. And mettle he showed, at Saratoga and in Quebec, where he came this close to making Canada our 14th colony (some would say it happened anyway, but these would be Ugly Americans making uglier jokes). During actions at Quebec and Saratoga, Arnold was dealt serious injuries from gunfire. And though he lost a lot of blood, he sadly did not lose his life, missing two golden opportunities to go down among the Giants of the Revolution like Lafayette, Von Steuben, Ethan Allen, and Washington. Instead, he would outlive his heroic chances and allow his sullen, jealous, angry temperament a chance to win notoriety for quite another reputation, one driven by money and relentless ambition. The lesser star (and fall guy) of the book is concurrent story of Major John André. He played spy to Arnold's traitor, and their tango ended badly for him. Author Sheinkin tells us that André was one of those singularly handsome men who charmed women and men alike with his personality and intelligence. Unfortunately, this intelligence would forsake him in a few key seconds that would seal his fate. After meeting Arnold behind enemy lines near West Point, he was fleeing south toward the British-held city of New York. Alas, he did not think through the actions he would take if he were stopped by Americans. He foolishly said he was British by assuming he was far enough south and already among Loyalists. In retrospect, this made no sense. Had he said he was American, the outcome would have worked to his advantage no matter what. That is, if his interceptors were Americans (which they were), they would have let him by with the handwritten pass he held from Arnold. And even if they were British, they would have seized him and taken him as a "prisoner" to General Clinton -- the very man who sent him out on the mission -- down in New York. At age 29, the dashing Major André had written the opening lines to his own final act. Some might say he was luckier than Arnold, who would survive and escape Washington's frantic attempts to capture and make an example of him. Arnold made a few forays wearing a redcoat -- burning New London, CT, for one -- but the war soon ended and he spent the remainder of his years in England and Canada with ignominy and Peggy Shippen as his mates. Even the side he defected to held him in low esteem after the war. Washington had offered André's life in exchange for Arnold's, but Genl. Clinton, as much as he loved André, could not pull the trigger on this tempting deal because of the unwritten rule: You never, but NEVER, turn over a turncoat. When all is said and done, you will learn a lot more about Benedict Arnold's character and personality, his military genius and derring do, and his innate ability to annoy superiors in the military (where, quite frankly, many men on both sides acted like middle school children in their endless bickering, resentments, intrigues, and calculated slander and libel of each other's character). You will enjoy some military strategizing, take in some battle-day narratives, and learn just how close the colonies came to losing this war. And yes, you will see the major role of irony and chance, and just how comfortable both of these things are in the fertile grounds of history. An awful lot of things had to go wrong for Benedict Arnold's plan to fail. Sheinkin shows just how lucky the Americans got with a series of wild coincidences on the fateful day the West Point trap was set to spring. He also provides the perfect coda for the book by describing a most curious monument made in Arnold's "honor" at Saratoga. Curious and symbolically appropriate, I'd say. Recommended for young readers in need of some bracing nonfiction, for a change.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Barron

    to be brave when it is hard.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diana Martocci

    I think the theme of this book is not all things that seem bad are bad because we imagine benedict Arnold as this terrible person but really he helped us in many ways and needed money so he helped the British

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