Featured title on PBS's The Great American Read in 2018
Mark Twain’s classic coming-of-age novel that captured the imagination of America
Generations of readers and listeners have enjoyed the ingenuous triumphs and feckless mishaps of boyhood days on the Mississippi. This classic of American wit and storytelling introduced Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, the Widow Douglas, and many other characters to the world, including, of course the boy who “was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town because he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad—and because all their children admired him so”: Huckleberry Finn.
This novel is part of Brilliance Audio’s extensive Classic Collection, bringing you timeless masterpieces that you and your family are sure to love.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||10 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He is the author of the beloved classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and The Prince and the Pauper.
Date of Birth:November 30, 1835
Date of Death:April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:Redding, Connecticut
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Excerpted from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
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Table of Contents
Mark Twain: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text and Illustrations
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Appendix A: Composition, Marketing, and Reviews of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- From Twain’s “Boy’s Manuscript” (c. 1870)
- From “Unpublished Chapters from the Autobiography of Mark Twain,” Harper’s Monthly Magazine (August 1922)
- The Tom Sawyer manuscript
- Twain’s Correspondence with William Dean Howells (1875–76)
- Marketing: Advertisement of Subscription Books (1876)
- Contemporary Reviews
- William Dean Howells, Atlantic Monthly (May 1876)
- Anonymous, New York World (1 January 1877)
- Anonymous, New York Times (13 January 1877)
Appendix B: Twain’s Memories of Hannibal
- Letter to Will Bowen (6 February 1870)
- Hannibal in 1848
- From Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)
- From Twain, “Chapters from My Autobiography,” North American Review (2 November 1906)
- From Twain, “Villagers of 1840–43” (1897)
- Slavery in Hannibal
- From Twain, “Chapters from My Autobiography,” North American Review (1 March 1907)
- Advertisement for Slaves (1848)
Appendix C: Bad Boys and Boy Books
- Bad Boys
- From B.P. Shillaber, Mrs. Partington’s Knitting Work, and what was done by her plaguy boy Ike (1880)
- From Twain, “The Story of the Bad Little Boy” (1865)
- Boy Books
- From Thomas Bailey Aldrich, The Story of a Bad Boy (1869)
- From Charles Dudley Warner, Being a Boy (1877)
- From William Dean Howells, A Boy’s Town (1890)
Appendix D: A Small-Town American Childhood in the 1840s
- From McGuffey’s Eclectic Spelling Book (1846)
- From the Friends Infant School (1838)
- Sunday School
- From “The Sunday-School Child” (1845)
- From “The glass of whiskey” (1845)
- The Temperance Movement: Announcement in the Hannibal Gazette (17 June 1846)
- Games: From The Boy’s Story Book for Winter Evenings (1838)
- The Circus: Advertisement in the Hannibal Gazette (October 1847)
- The Minstrel Show
- Song from “Bone Squash Diavolo” (1835)
- Dialogue, “Mosquitoes” (1902)
- Lawrence Lovechild, “The Deceitful Little Boy” (1840)
- From Samuel Griswold Goodrich (“Peter Parley”), “Bill Vacant and Henry Hawkseye,” Robert Merry’s Annual, for all seasons (1840)
- From Jacob Abbott, Rollo Learning to Read (1855)
- From Stephen Percy, Robin Hood and His Merry Foresters (1845)
- From Ned Buntline, The Black Avenger, Story of the Spanish Main, The Weekly Novelette (1859)
What People are Saying About This
"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose."
Reading Group Guide
1. In his preface, Mark Twain remarks that "Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves. . . ." Do you think Twain succeeds in this "plan"? Discuss the ways in which Tom Sawyer can be read by both children and adults-do different aspects of the book appeal to different kinds of readers? Are different episodes designed, as some critics have suggested, to appeal to different audiences?
2. How does Tom Sawyer relate to the world of adult authority and responsibility? Can he be said to "mature" during the course of the novel, as critics have asserted? If so in what ways?
3. Discuss the town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, Tom Sawyer's home. How would you describe it? What literary devices or descriptions, to your mind, make Twain's portrayal of rural American life in the years before the Civil War interesting, unique, appealing?
4. Virginia Wexman notes that in Tom Sawyer "we are confronted with two clearly separate worlds. The first world is a light and engaging one . . . where life is played at . . . the world of Tom himself. . . . But there is another world here too, a darker world where actions have real meaning and real moral consequences-the world of people like Injun Joe and Muff Potter." Discuss each of these "two worlds," and the ways in which they are related to each other in the novel.
5. Discuss Tom's relationship with Huckleberry Finn, from their first encounter, through their subsequent adventures. What do you make of this friendship? Why are these characters drawn to each other? Compare this relationship with other relationships in the novel, for instance Tom's relationship to Becky Thatcher.
6. Discuss Twain's use of particular geographical settings as scenes for episodes in the novel: the river, the island, the cave. Why do you think these particular landscapes are chosen? How do they inform the action of the novel?
7. Tom Sawyer is one of the most recognizable and revered characters in American literature; as Lyall Powers writes, "Everybody knows Tom's story whether he has actually read the book or not." What do you think accounts for the enduring popularity of Twain's literary creation?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is about two boys named Tom and Huck. They heard about a treasure buried somewhere. They are trying to find out where the treasure is buried but they have a little problem--other people are looking for the treasure too. Injun Joe is also looking for the treasure and he is the meanest person that no one likes. One night Tom and Huck were walking in a grave yard and saw Injun Joe kill a guy. So now Tom and Huck are scared of Injun Joe. Then Tom ran away to an island because he wanted to try living on his own. Everyone in the town thought Tom and Huck died, but they didn¿t. On the day of their funeral they showed up and surprised all the grown ups. Do they find the treasure? Read and find out. This was an easy book to read because it was short. I liked this book because it had a lot of adventure.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is a very enthralling novel. It is about an imaginative young boy, Tom Sawyer who can be very mischievous but is naturally "good", instead of his half brother Sid, or the novel's antagonist, Injun Joe. He begins the story as a manipulative young rebel, which is demonstrated when he swindles his classmates into whitewashing a fence that he was originally punished to do, in exchange for small treasures. Tom, captivated with stories of pirates and other rebels, leads him and his friends in a series of adventures, from playing battles to running away to an island to create a pirate crew. As the adventures become more serious and dangerous, Tom becomes more and more mature. After witnessing a murder, and testifying against the killer, Injun Joe, Tom and Huckleberry Finn fear for their lives while treasure hunting, and they both display heroics that ultimately result into their "real" maturation into adulthood. Twain, throughout the story satirizes the hypocrisy of most adult institutions, such as the church, Sunday school, regular school and the temperance tavern. He views that adults are hypocritical and pretentious, possessing a certain "false maturity". This "false" maturity is defined by the moral maturity a person or institution has. For example, the temperance tavern, which is not supposed to serve alcohol, has a secret back room that does just that. By the end of the novel, Tom changed from attempting to undermine all authority, into a defender of the respectable adult society, displaying the truest sense of moral maturity, even though he was still not very old. Tom first explores superstitions with Huck, and soon becomes dependant on them. They created so many beliefs that in any uncertain situation, such as when they were in the haunted mansion, they can provide reassurance and confidence in one's self. Rebellion is prevalent within the novel. Tom and his friends commit crimes and disobey their parents, but they never are geared at hurting any other people. These minor rebellions could never lead to worse crimes, because Tom and the boys felt deep remorse only for stealing small amounts of bacon. These rebellious adventures for Tom lead to his praise within the community, like when he returns from Jackson's Island and shows up at his own funeral, only to be greeted with hugs. Injun Joe however, commits crimes that are obviously harmful to others such as murder, and finally dies, which shows that Twain condemns crimes that are harmful to others. I strongly recommend this intriguing book, although at times it can be hard to follow.
This book is a great read and I would HIGHLY recomend it over 99% of books. I started reading this because my school was doing Tom Sawyer as the play and I got the roll of Huckleberry Finn. Tom Sawyer Totally ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!
Good because unabridged. My english teacher makes us read this book over our week vacation and I left it at school... so this was great!!!
I¿ve been meaning for a long time to read this book, I had heard so many praises about it that I just had to read it and see for myself what the fuss was about. Well, it captured my interest and hooked me from the very first page; it definitely deserves being called an all times classic. I loved its timeless humor and how it often brought a broad smile to my face. I loved the carefree antebellum south rural life it depicted and I often found myself comparing life back in those days and life today. What¿s more, I immediately took a liking to Tom Sawyer and his adventurous spirit, I admired his impulsiveness and cleverness and his bravery. He made me want to get up and have an adventure of my own. Finally, it got me thinking and everyone just seemed much more happy back then. The children were more innocent and looked forward to having fun and playing outside with their friends; Today¿s children prefer to stay indoors and play video-games or watch TV, they seem to have lost their innocence, the very thing that makes them a children. It¿s sad in a way and troublesome; it makes you wonder about the children of the future.
I thought it was a compelling story of romance and mischief. I loved this book so much. I'm so glad I read this book. Tom Sawyer resembles a lot of kids out there and I think it would be a great book for kids. This book had amazing life lessons in it. Mark Twain is a great author he has such a way of telling storys. This book was so amazing I hope you will get a chance to read it.
I had to read this book as part of my summer honors language arts work. In my opinion, the beginning of the novel was rough, but after you understand the slang words and get to know the characters...the novel gets really good. I would probably recommend this book to soone who is 12 years of age or Older. :)
This book is the most interesting book ever. You must read it!
Awesome book, all you people should get it. :-)
Out of my experience of reading this book, I say it is a great book filled with romance, action, filled with lessons for kids, and unpredictable. I read it this year, in fourth grade. And that book made me even more smarter.
I ordered a free sample and evem though I ended up buying it, I still only have the free sample.
This book is so so interesting. It took me awhile to read thow.
I luv this book so much...Mark Twain did a STUPENDOUS job!!! the only thing i didnt like was that the text was a bit mixed up. HINT: H is the equivalent of li in the book. So when the say,.her lip trembled, it ended up looking like her Hp trembled!! But, otherwise, INCREDIBLE!!!
Tom sawyer is a very troublesome boy. He skips out on school and he gets himself into alot of trouble. This story follows the adventures of tom sawyer while he lives in the U.S. I thought this book was very good because the author tells the story in an entertaining way. I think this book is a good read for middle to highschool students. -Matteo Abbz
only problem is text gets jumbled every so often
Tom Sawyer For mischievous events, treasure, and thrills, Tom Sawyer is a good book for you. If you would like a nice story that moves at a steady pace then, sorry kid-o's this won't be a piece of the puzzle for you. Mark Twain, the author, has a tendency to jump from story to story its almost as though he has a slight case of ADD, he can never finish one part of the book up before a new portion begins. Often times throughout this book I did judge his writing style but in the end Twain did leave you feeling satisfied with a sense of completion. Also the author has a sarcastic sense of humor and it shows in his writing style that some parts that are just the simplest and ordinary scenes become intricate and "cheesy". Tom is an average boy but has an edge up on being bad. Tom and his best friend Huck (the town drunk) go to the graveyard to get rid of warts. There, they witness Injun Joe in the murder of Doc Robertson. Tom, Huck, and Joe go on many adventures including becoming pirates, what we would know as boy scouts, and even treasure hunters (better known as robbers). Tom getting into trouble, falling in love, and even doing some good make this book a fun read that can be very enjoyable. This book is a classic and I feel it always will be. I defiantly recommend this book for ages 12-1000. Why? Well this book is great and can bring that mischievous youth out of all of us. But, I feel anyone younger than 12 might not understand some of the story, and anyone older should contact a doctor. If you want more adventure you can also read Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. I give this book 4.1 stars out of 10. B+ Written by, Jeremy Hasselhough
its a sweet book that every one shoul read it may not have proper words but every kid must read this book
Tom Sawyer, an American classic by Mark Twain, has an intriguing plot, complex characters, and many valuable themes and lessons. Tom Sawyer takes place in the 1840s in a fictional town called St. Petersburg. It all starts when Tom, a trouble-maker boy who lives with his aunt on the banks of the Mississippi River gets punished. As a punishment, Tom has to whitewash a fence, and learns several lessons along the way. I would recommend Tom Sawyer to a friend because of the lessons that are embedded into the plot. One of the biggest themes is how two faced society is. For example, authority in Tom Sawyer always has a good side and a bad side. Tom’s aunt is very strict and yells at Tom, but this is balanced by her love for him. Another amazing part of Tom Sawyer is the interesting characters. Both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are free spirits that bring the story to life and made me want to read more. I always wanted to turn the page to see what happened next because of how unpredictable Tom’s bright personality was. Overall, Tom Sawyer really is a great American read and everyone should read it at least once because of the life lessons that will stick with me my whole life.
This is a good read from a favorite of mine
Our book-club book this month was The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. We read it as part of the Alabama Reads campaign to encourage literacy and library usage in the state of Alabama. Some of the members had read it before and others had not. We all found ourselves loving the book. The storytelling is marvelous (I know for those of you already familiar you¿re thinking ¿Duh!¿) and the characters are endearing and who doesn¿t love a bad-boy with a heart of gold. I¿m even contemplating naming my 3rd child Sawyer. It¿s a book full of adventure, friendship, imagination, truth and lies and told in 3rd person from a child¿s view of the world. My favorite quote comes from the scene in which Tom traded his way, through savvy manipulations, to get the free bible but didn¿t know any scripture verses when asked to recite. The book concludes this vignette with the following: ¿Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.¿ Love it!Huckleberry Finn being described as the ¿juvenile pariah of the Village¿, ¿cordially hated and dreaded by all the mother of St. Petersburg and secretly admired by their children¿, and ¿idle and lawless and vulgar and bad¿. Whew, those are some harsh yet colorful descriptions. I hope all families read it. For children the language may seem awkward and of course, dated, but they¿ll enjoy the hijinks of the kids and the adventure. Gotta go now and start Huckleberry Finn:)
Tom is very brave boy.He likes adventure and he can get food on his own.When he met troble, he solve it by himself.I want to imitate his active behavior.
Y'know, when reviewing a classic like this one, I feel a bit like I should be writing a more substantial essay. You know, something like how Tom fulfills the mythological role of the "Trickster" archetype, or analyzing the interpersonal dynamics between Aunt Polly and her adopted children, or something like that. Of course, I don't have that kind of time, not when I seem to be finishing another For Better or For Worse collection every few days or so and have next month's book club reads ahead of me. So I'll simply say that Tom Sawyer is a boy growing up in antebellum Missouri and his adventures are the type one might expect a young boy of that time to have, save that Tom really is a trickster and will outsmart other folks, more often than not. But that's not a bad thing. I tended to root for Tom, rather than start building up a jealous resentment of him. Mr. Twain painted such a human character that I was able to relate to Tom even though I would never have been able to figure out how to get out of whitewashing the fence or get Becky Thatcher to notice me. It's great stuff.--J.
The 100th anniversary of Twain's death is April, 21 2010. Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother, Sid, in the Mississippi River town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. His best friend (buddy) and companion of adventures Huck Finn helps Tom to invent how to avoid school, and get fun night and day. The main themes are: children looking for trouble, adults as adults always do, and humorism tinged with satire. Sometimes Tom disappears in the Huck's shadow, and sometimes Tom and Huck work together: these passages are most successful with Twain's job. For example:Huck: 'When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?'Tom: 'We'll get the boys together and have the initiation tonight, maybe.'Huck: 'Have the which?'Tom: 'Have the initiation.'Huck: 'What's that?'Tom: ' It's to swear ... etc etc The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic book suitable for all ages.
A million times better than "Huckleberry Finn."
Mark Twain's style doesn't disappoint. He writes in such a way that I forget he's even there, between the reader and the story. The dialogue, I think, is the best part; Twain does it so well it's like hearing the characters themselves speak straight out from the pages. Unfortunately, I read this at age 24 and so, by that point, knew the story so well through other venues (Wishbone, tv specials, movies, etc.) that nothing could at all surprise me. But still, I enjoyed it--especially the religious waywardness of its central characters. Just don't know what to make of the talk of, and attitude towards, blacks. Is Twain unconsciously or satirically reflecting the mindset of those times?