Steck-Vaughn Short Classics: Student Reader Huckleberry Finn , Story Book

Steck-Vaughn Short Classics: Student Reader Huckleberry Finn , Story Book

3.8 55
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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He got out his worldly wealth and examined it — bits of toys, marble, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of work maybe, but not enough to buy as much as half an hour of pure freedom".

One of those most irrepressible and exuberant characters in the history of literature, Tom Sawyer explodes onto the page in a whirl of bad behavior and incredible…  See more details below


He got out his worldly wealth and examined it — bits of toys, marble, and trash; enough to buy an exchange of work maybe, but not enough to buy as much as half an hour of pure freedom".

One of those most irrepressible and exuberant characters in the history of literature, Tom Sawyer explodes onto the page in a whirl of bad behavior and incredible adventures. Whether he is heaving clods of earth at his brother, faking a gangrenous toe, or trying to convince the world that he is dead, Tom's infectious energy and good-humor shine through.

The Adventures of Tom sawyer is Mark Twain's joyful and nostalgic recollection of tall tales from his own boyhood by the Mississippi some "thirty or forty years ago". It was an instant success on its first publication in 1876, and has continued to delight children of all ages ever since.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Missouri in 1835, the son of a lawyer. Early in his childhood, the family moved to Hannibal, Missouri — a town which would provide the inspiration for St. Petersburg in Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. After a period spent as a traveling printer, Clemens became a river pilot on the Mississippi; a time he would look back upon as his happiest. When he turned to writing in his thirties, he adopted the pseudonym Mark Twain ("Mark Twain" is the cry of a Mississippi boatman taking dept measurements, and means "two fathoms"), and a number of highly successful publications followed, including The Prince and the Pauper (1882), Huckleberry Finn (1884) and A Connecticut Yankee (1889). His later life, however, was marked by personal tragedy and sadness, as well as financial difficulty. In 1894 several businesses in which he had invested failed, and he was declared bankrupt. Over the next fifteen years — during which he managed to regain some measure of financial independence — he saw the death of two of his beloved daughters, and his wife. Increasingly bitter and depressed, Twain died in 1910, aged seventy-five.

The handsome volumes in The Collectors Library present great works of world literature in a handy hardback format. Printed on high-quality paper and bound in real cloth, each complete and unabridged volume has a specially commissioned afterword, brief biography of the author and a further-reading list. This easily accessible series offers readers the perfect opportunity to discover, or rediscover, some of the world's most endearing literary works.

The volumes in The Collector's Library are sumptuously produced, enduring editions to own, to collect and to treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Ernest Hemingway
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
Children's Literature
What does a young boy do when he witnesses a murder but is terrified the murderer will come after him and kill him if he tells anyone what he saw? This terrible quandary is just one of the trials young Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn face after they see a man killed. On top of this worry about being attacked by the murderer, Tom has to deal with a meddlesome aunt, an ornery teacher, and a pretty girl who does not respond to his schoolboy affection. Quite an adventure for a boy who started his summer trying to get out of having to whitewash a picket fence! Fans of adventure stories, mystery buffs, or readers who enjoyed getting into scrapes with Tom years ago will enjoy this tale of a mischievous boy and his assorted pranks, trials, and intrigues. The book is funny, interesting, and thought provoking. Readers may be put off by archaic language and slang, but once you get beyond the printed words, Tom Sawyer is a wonderful book about a loveable boy who could not stay out of trouble. Part of the "Adventure Classics" series. 2005 (orig. 1876), HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Caitlyn Payne
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
What a classic story. The book about Tom Sawyer is in the elite class of novels that will never fade away. Mr. Hall has taken the original story and condensed it into a graphic novel so that it can be enjoyed by a wider level and range of readers. Because this book is written in graphic form, it opens the door to reading for ESL students and reluctant readers, and provides high interest at a lower level. Young adults who want to read anything they can get their hands on will also enjoy the graphic format and fast paced text. The author includes a box on most pages that includes narration giving extra information to the reader to help with comprehension. Also helpful are the first two pages that introduce the characters by names and pictures. This is definitely an outstanding tool for helping the reader to follow the story. When Huck and Tom are hunting for a treasure and discussing what each would do with the money, Tom's friend Huck says he would buy a pie every day. I bet a lot of boys would agree with him. Included at the end of the book is further information about Tom Sawyer, "Discussion Questions," and "Writing Prompts," other books in the "Graphic Library Series," and step-by-step directions about how to use the Fact Hound web site. This web site is particularly beneficial because it is set up to allow the user to select the grade level of information they want. Every boy should read this story at least once in his life. It is also a wonderful book for a father to read with a son.

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Steck-Vaughn Short Classics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 15 Years

Read an Excerpt


I Discover Moses and the Bulrushers

YOU DON'T KNOW about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly - Tom's Aunt Polly, she is - and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.

Now the way that the book winds up is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round - more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.

The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and felt all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them - that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.

After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people.

Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it. Here she was a-bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.

Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on, had just come to live with her, and took a set at me now with a spelling book. She worked me middling hard for about an hour, and then the widow made her ease up. I couldn't stood it much longer. Then for an hour it was deadly dull, and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would say, "Don't put your feet up there, Huckleberry"; and "Don't scrunch up like that, Huckleberry - set up straight"; and pretty soon she would say, "Don't gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry - why don't you try to behave?" Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad then, but I didn't mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn't particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldn't say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good.

Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.

Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. By and by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed. I went up to my room with a piece of candle, and put it on the table. Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried to think of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that's on its mind and can't make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave, and has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so downhearted and scared I did wish I had some company. Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider.

I set down again, a-shaking all over, and got out my pipe for a smoke; for the house was all as still as death now, and so the widow wouldn't know. Well, after a long time I heard the clock away off in the town go boom - boom - boom - twelve licks; and all still again - stiller than ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap down in the dark amongst the trees - something was a-stirring. I set still and listened. Directly I could just barely hear a "me-yow! me-yow!" down there. That was good! Says I, "me-yow! me-yow!" as soft as I could, and then I put out the light and scrambled out of the window on to the shed. Then I slipped down to the ground and crawled in among the trees, and, sure enough, there was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.

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What People are saying about this

Ernest Hemingway
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
T. S. Eliot
...We come to see Huck... as one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction; not unworthy to tak e a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet, and other great discoveries that man has made about himself.
Lionel Trilling
One can read it at ten and then annually ever after, and each year find that it is as fresh as the year before...

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn2 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn was once said to be the source of all american literarture. Earnest Hemingway said that and was right. Huck Finn and his friend Jim, a slave, have some amazing and amusing journeys as they travel down the Mississippi River. Recommended for anyone looking for a laugh and a life lesson.
Charlottes-son More than 1 year ago
One of the Classics and a great read. Don't be afraid of a few bad words. It is a clear slice of life, all dressed up, just as it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adamfchms143 More than 1 year ago
This book is very hard to read.With southern accents the sentences are like ‘’How we gwyne git em?’’ Its very hard to understand. I understand why the author did this because it was in older times.So the English wasn’t the greatest.When I read this book every time i got to a wierd scentence I had to sound out every word to figure out what the author was trying to say.The story itself wasn’t bad but I had trouble at some parts trying to read.I didn’t like how this book was written.
Natalie_Carlo More than 1 year ago
It was so exciting and marvelous. I thought it was a new adventure each chapter and it was so adorable to experience Huck's and Jim's friendship evolve and grow. I wanted to just keep reading.
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ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel of sorts.  First came The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which Huckleberry Finn was a character in just as Tom Sawyer was in this one.  In this adventure Huckleberry runs away from his alcoholic father and along the way runs into a slave Jim, who is trying to gain his freedom.   As they stop in towns along the river they always seem to run into trouble. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was more enjoyable to read on my own then it was to read for school.   Huck definitely has a original imagination to get them through all the hijinks they go through. I felt that by the Tom Sawyer showed up the book could and probably should have ended.  Many of the people in the town were pretty gullible to believe Huck, Tom and other characters like the Duke or King.  An Interesting read. Not sure I understand why it is a classic except that is by Mark Twain.  I could see the authors humor throughout the book, which he was known for. 
mgoodrich718 More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain <br /> <br /> 3 Stars <br /> <br /> This is the sequel to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It starts out were it left off. Huck is kidnapped by his dad who wants his money. His dad is a horrible person and a drunk. Huck meets an escaping slave Jim along the way and they set off in search of the freedom they are both looking for. This of course leads to many amusing adventures. They get into all sorts of things and meet up with a lot of questionable characters on the Mississippi river. Jim gets caught and is being held as a runaway slave. Huck decides that he must go save him even if it means he will go to hell. Arriving at the plantation where Jim is being kept leads to a whole new adventure and the arrival of help to pull off stealing Jim back and setting him free for good.<br /> <br /> This is one of those books that I wish I had read when I was young and was reading adventures like Call of The Wild and the like. I know I would have loved it then. That is the only reason for the 3 stars. It was a good read and amusing but I didn't relate with it as much at this time. The imagination that is involved in these stories is wonderful. I had to laugh at the reasons things were accomplished the way they were so that they would be done right and moral in keeping with stories of great adventurers. Because who could possibly want to do anything the simple way. It did make me long for the days when using that imagination made for the best times ever.<br />
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I never thought I would actually enjoy reading this book but was pleasantly surprised. Twain intertwined good humor with meaningful themes making for a book that made you not only laugh at all the ingenious plotlines but also think about the cruelties of our so-called "sivilized" world. You truly fall in love with these characters. I recommend this book to anyone searching for an adventure, comedy, or heartwarming and meaningful book. An honestly wonderful read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
everyone who uses the hemingway quote should finish it, where old ernest said you have to quit reading when tom sawyer comes back into the story, because the rest is cheating. 100 pages! the story reaches its natrual, moral, artistic and thematic climax, and the only thing left is for huck to free jim and light out for the Territory--and what does twain do? He drags tom sawyer back into the story, and everything falls apart. and that's the great american novel? no. parts of it are beautiful and the best, like hemingway said, but the ending, twain's overuse of the theme of death and rebrith, and many other artistic faults, which we don't have time to get into, make it a manuscript about twenty drafts and two years from completion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book was good, but at some parts it was kind of boring. The way it is narrated by Huck is perfect, because that's the way people talked at that time. When Jim talked, it was strange, because some words were written wrong and that mixed up what he was saying. I think this is a good book that everyone should read if you have enough time, and is willing to take their time in understanding the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my 8th grade english class and it is one of the most boring books I have ever read. It's also a little confusing at times. There's so many things that happen in the story that would never happen in real life, that I can't believe anyone would buy it. I don't see why it's considered a classic. But, hey, if you love crummy adventure stories that mostly take place on a raft in the middle of a river, this book is for you!