The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

A featured School Classic.


From the episodes of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the cave to the trial of Injun Joe, this novel is redolent of life in the Mississippi River towns in which the author spent his own youth. Beneath the innocence of childhood lie the inequities of adult reality – base emotions and superstitions, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is probably the most popular work by Mark Twain because of one of the most lovable characters ever created, Tom Sawyer. This brilliant little trouble maker has captured the hearts of so many children and adults alike, with him innocently getting involved in troubling circumstances, to also intentionally pranking his friends and family, which is why there are other small novellas that were published just for his further adventures.

In this book, there are many things that young boys in this era did, such as trading and betting, lots of pranks, superstitious belief in ghosts, haunted grave yards, running away etc etc. The boys (speaking of Tom and his infamous sidekick Huckleberry Finn) get involved in many scary situations together and have to think of brilliant ways to get out of those situations so it is a very entertaining read.

Because of when this book was originally written (1876) there are many phrases in this book that can be offensive in today’s culture, however they were the “norm” during the author’s era so he did not write them in order to be offensive, he wrote them because that was the language in which they used during his time. I’m mainly speaking of the derogatory term referred to the African-American slaves, which is said in every mention of any of the slaves in this book (which is often since one of the main characters is a slave).

But other than that, the book is a relatively clean book, no cuss words and only small instances of young love that contain sweet gifts and one or two kisses. The murder that the boys witness is slightly descriptive however it is not overly graphic.

All in all, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an entertaining read and would be a great book for students 12 years old and older. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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