Cover image for The notorious Benedict Arnold : a true story of adventure, heroism, and treachery
The notorious Benedict Arnold : a true story of adventure, heroism, and treachery
The notorious Benedict Arnold : a true story of adventure, heroism, and treachery
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
New York : Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, [2010]
Physical Description:
337 pages : illustrations, maps ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Pagination may vary.
An introduction to the life of Benedict Arnold that highlights not only the traitorous actions that made him legendary, but also his heroic involvement in the American Revolution.


Call Number
Material Type
YA B ARNOLD New or Popular Book YA 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 Notorious Benedict Arnold is the winner of the 2011 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.

Author Notes

Steve Sheinkin is the award-winning author of several fascinating books on American history, including The Notorious Benedict Arnold , which won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award for nonfiction. His recent book Bomb was a Newbery Honor Book,National Book Award finalist, and winner of the Sibert Award as well as the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. He lives in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

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 Andre, 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.--Cruze, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

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, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Clearing in the Woods October 2, 1780 It was a beautiful place to die. The sky above the woods glowed blue, and the leaves on the trees were a riot of fall colors: sunshine yellow, campfire orange, blood red. In a grassy clearing, a small group of American soldiers quickly built a gallows. It was a simple structure, made of two tall, forked logs stuck into the ground, with a third log laid horizontally between the forks. The soldiers tied one end of a rope to the middle of the horizontal log, letting the other end hang down. There was no platform to stand on, no trapdoor to fall through--the prisoner would have to climb onto a wagon with the rope looped around his throat. Horses would jerk the wagon forward, and he would tumble off the back. The force of his falling weight should be enough to snap a man's neck. As the soldiers worked, a crowd began to gather. Officers rode up and sat still on their horses. Soldiers and citizens from nearby towns gradually filled the clearing. By late afternoon, hundreds of people surrounded the gallows, and thousands lined the road leading to it. It was a somber crowd. People spoke in whispers, if at all. Shortly before five o'clock, a wagon carrying a plain, pine coffin rattled along the road and into the clearing. The driver stopped his horses just beyond the gallows, with the wagon lined up under the dangling rope. The ghoulish figure of a hangman appeared, his face sloppily smeared with black axle grease to disguise his identity. He stood by the wagon and waited. A few minutes after five, the distant sounds of a fife and drum band reached the clearing. The music grew louder, and the crowd recognized the tune--a funeral march. Soon the players came into view, stepping slowly and heavily in time with the music. Behind the band marched the prisoner. He wore a spotless officer's uniform, his long hair pulled back and tied neatly behind his neck. When he reached the clearing he saw the gallows and stopped. The color drained from his skin. He swallowed, making a visibly painful effort to force the saliva down his throat. Then he began marching again, walking steadily toward his death. But this is the end of the story. The story begins thirty-nine years earlier and 125 miles to the east, in the busy port town of Norwich, Connecticut. The story begins with Benedict Arnold. THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD Copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sheinkin Excerpted from Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism and Treachery by Steve Sheinkin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.