Your first question may be – Why now? The classic tale is 138 years old.
Well, I was needing an accurate recollection of the “curing warts’ scene for a current writing project. Wasn’t there a dead cat and beans involved? I was hoping to get my answer without going out to hunt down the book, which if memory serves me was the first classic book I read as a boy. To my surprise, or possible ignorance, the original story is available free online since the copyright expired. I read the chapter I needed and decided to go back and reread the entire story.
Here are two places where you can find the unabridged version online or this separate site allows you to download a copy from Project Gutenberg who offer more than 44,000 books to download. It’s the original writing of Mark Twain and not a current day ‘cleaned up’ retelling.
PUBLICATION DATE:1876 LEVEL: 8.1 WORD COUNT: 68,079
FULL PLOT (Wikipedia has an excellent summary if you really need it.}
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER:
- Despite the story being told in a time period over 100 years ago, you’ll find similarities to boys and girls today. Every one can relate to best friends, a sense of adventure, and the humorous situations.
- The main lesson: use your imagination to make life fun; and never lose the Tom Sawyer hiding in each of us.
- How does one stay entertained with no Internet, television, movies, video games, or radio? Kids of today will discover that the children of St. Petersburg never lacked things to do for keeping their lives engaged.
- The language of the 1800’s is said to be accurate and provides a window into the life of this era in our history.
- It’s a great psychological study of the life of a boy, one who starts off as rather immoral but who emerges as a young man who does the right thing.
Tom Sawyer has superb character development, exciting scenes, and memorable cliffhangers. Although the language at first can be challenging to follow, you’ll quickly be hooked with the charm this classic book brings.
“Who knows, he may grow up to be President someday, unless they hang him first!” (Aunt Polly)
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.