Library Wonk's Book Talk 4: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
I have been thinking for some time about what I can blog about that would be fairly unique among the many tutors on this site. Seeing that I work at a library and do large amounts of reading, I thought I could put my literary knowledge to good use and post book talks that I have written. My hope is that parents and children who are looking for reading ideas may find this blog entry somewhat useful.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
By Mark Twain
Reading Level: Grades 7-9
In this ageless classic, Mark Twain proves that, no matter what time period one comes from, boys will always be boys. Based on the places and people of his own childhood (“Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred,” claimed the author), Twain spins a tale about life through the eyes of a trouble-making, imaginative, cunning boy.
Most young boys tend to get into mischief at one time or another, and Tom Sawyer is no exception. “He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though—and loathed him.” Ditching school to play Robin Hood in the forest, tricking his friends into doing his chores, swinging dead cats in a graveyard (to cure warts), and sneaking off with Huckleberry Finn to look for buried treasure are just some of the things that fill Tom’s days. In addition to his usual boyish antics, Tom also finds time to witness a midnight murder, get lost in a cave, kick-start his career as a pirate, and even to fall in love. Tom’s lifestyle is enough to make any parent’s hair turn gray. Still, as his Aunt Polly would say “[H]e warn’t bad, so to say-only mischeevous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum…he was the best-hearted boy that ever was.”