The Notorious Benedict Arnold

The Notorious Benedict Arnold

A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Bravery

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:

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.

Publisher: New York : Roaring Brook Press, c2010.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9781596434868
Characteristics: 337 p. : ill. , maps ; 22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

If Benedict Arnold had died at the Battle of Saratoga, he would have been a great American hero, celebrated for his role in winning the American Revolution. Instead, he survived—to die in shame and poverty, reviled as a traitor.

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Aside from his name and the simple fact that he was an important traitor during the Revolutionary War, I really didn't know all that much about Benedict Arnold before reading this book. It turns out he's a fascinating figure. And I don't mean "fascinating" in an academic sense; he has a great, entertaining story.
And author Sheinkin does a great job of telling that story (I waffled between 4 and 5 stars). There is excellent drama, tension, pacing, and plotting. Yet this is no fictionalized or even dramatized account, because Sheinkin is also very journalistic and doesn't resort to conjecture to fill in blank spots. There aren't quite full dialogue exchanges, but there are lots of quotes from letters and other primary source documents that fill that role nicely, personalizing the events and revealing the thoughts and emotions behind the reported actions. This is extensively researched.
If he hadn't been so concerned with restoring his family name and living a life of privilege, Benedict Arnold most likely would have gone down in history as one of the great American heroes. He was a brash, adventurous, independent, hot-tempered man of action who accomplished some of the war's great feats before becoming alienated and disillusioned; and it was those same traits that made him such a daredevil on the battlefield that also caused his downfall, his confrontational, unrestrained manner that annoyed and angered the many who shared widely their negative opinions of him. George Washington felt there was no one more qualified on the battlefield, yet the political necessity of uniting the new country often prevented him from capitalizing on Arnold's talents, as he was too divisive a figure. Starting with his youthful stunts like walking the peaked roof a burning barn and throwing a lit match into a gunpowder-filled cannon, his exploits, adventures, and tragic downfall make for a highly absorbing tale.
Anyone looking for a good adventure novel ought to consider this along with the more typical fiction options.

dblockniles Feb 07, 2011

Great war adventure!


Add a Quote

JCLChrisK Apr 30, 2013

Benedict Arnold never could stand inaction. So he decided to invade Canada. . . .

The fact that no one had told Arnold to lead the first foreign invasion in American history meant nothing to him. It was the right strategic move, and he made it.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PDL

To Top