The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

3.6 301
by Mark Twain

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Mischief is Tom Sawyer's middle name. There is nothing he likes better than playing hookey from school, messing about on the Mississippi with his best friend, the hobo Huckleberry Finn, or wooing the elusive beauty Becky Thatcher. Lazy and reckless, he is a menace to his Aunt Polly - 'Tom, I've a notion to skin you alive' - an embarrassment to his teachers and the…  See more details below


Mischief is Tom Sawyer's middle name. There is nothing he likes better than playing hookey from school, messing about on the Mississippi with his best friend, the hobo Huckleberry Finn, or wooing the elusive beauty Becky Thatcher. Lazy and reckless, he is a menace to his Aunt Polly - 'Tom, I've a notion to skin you alive' - an embarrassment to his teachers and the envy of his peers. But there is method in his badness. He exhibits all the cunning of a magpie when hatching an elaborate scheme to avoid whitewashing a fence, and an adventure downriver with Huck and Joe Harper plunges the little town of St Petersburg into such an outpouring of grief that Tom is spared the belt on his return. But the innocent adventures end suddenly when Tom and Huck witness a murder in the graveyard. Should they tell of what they saw under the moonlight, when Injun Joe slipped the bloodstained knife into the hands of Muff Potter? Or should they 'keep mum' and risk letting an innocent man go to the gallows?

'Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experiences of my own, the rest of those boys who were schoolmates of mine', Mark Twain wrote in the preface to the original 1876 edition. Inspired by his upbringing in a small township on the Mississippi, and written 'to remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in', Twain's hymn to childhood and the great outdoors remains a classic account of boys on the loose in frontier-era America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Broadview's new edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer offers students access not only to the text of Mark Twain's classic 1876 novel but to the 19th-century world that inspired it. Lucy Rollin's excellent introduction traces Sam Clemens's path from Hannibal to Hartford, where his childhood memories came to life in the form of an oddly disjointed, episodic, and irresistible tale of romance and adventure. The edition's four appendices offer an even more detailed picture of the novel's cultural context, including rich excerpts from rival 'boy books' by Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Charles Dudley Warner, and William Dean Howells, as well as primary material of the sort a small-town American child might have grown up with in the 1840s. This volume is a magnificent teaching tool, which offers even experienced readers of Mark Twain a compelling reason to return to his first important work of fiction." - Henry B. Wonham, University of Oregon
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
Mark Twain’s literary reputation has perhaps never been higher than it is today, and his classic book about Tom Sawyer has stood the test of time. The main plot is well-known: after witnessing a murder, Tom must decide whether to tell the truth and put himself in danger, or keep quiet and hope for the best. The book has been adapted for movies, television, and more; this graphic novel is only the latest version of its many incarnations. The basic plot, the main characters, and some of the language have been retained. But the adapters often need to stop the action to summarize the plot. There is almost no character development or wit, and little humor, and it is doubtful if the reader will get a sense of who Tom is. The illustrations seem incongruous. All of the characters appear to be older than they are, and most of them—even Tom and Becky—seem to sport sinister scowls or sullen smirks. The book contains a short section entitled “About Mark Twain” which is inadequate, and a glossary that is puzzling in its selection of words. There are also sections on reading and writing questions aligned with Common Core. On the back of the book the publisher provides a quote stating that this book could provide a gateway “to otherwise daunting works of literature” and that it will “attract reluctant readers.” It is probably safe to say that this graphic novel will probably bore reluctant readers and discourage them from reading the original. A better way to introduce reluctant readers to Tom is to have them watch one of the film versions, or, better yet, have them take turns reading the original out loud. At the price of this book, a lot of better, cheaper alternatives are available. Reviewer: Leona Illig; Ages 10 to 14.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Large Print Heritage Series
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 7.75(h) x (d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


No answer.


No answer.

"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"

No answer.

The old lady puffed her spectacles down and looked over them and about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service-she could have seen through a pair of stovelids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:

"Y-o-u-u Tom!"

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?"


"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that truck?"

"I don't know, aunt."

"Well, I know. It's jam-that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."

The switch hovered in theair-the peril was desperate

"My! Look behind you, aunt!"

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger, The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board fence, and disappeared over it.

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is, But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's A down again and I can't hit him a tick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows, Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hockey this evening,* and I'll just be obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to punish him, It's mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and Ive got to do some of my duty by him, or I'll be the ruination of the child."

Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's wood and split the kindlings before supper-at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work. Torn's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a quiet boy, and he had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep-for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of tow cunning. Said she:

"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"


"Powerful warm, warn't it?"


"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No'm--well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:

"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of tier, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:

"Some of us pumped on our hcads--mine's damp yet. Sec?"

Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trickThen she had a new inspiration:

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"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose."

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Illustrated Junior Library) 3.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 301 reviews.
Trevor_ More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realy enjoy this book . If you are advanced in reading and 9-10 this will be a good book for you. If you are older and average in reading it may be interesting but it may not. Here is a quik summary, Tom and Huck go on a big adventure and huck is the boy every boy wants to be. Lucky Tom, he goes on an adventure and be a piarate!
KTCTMTLT More than 1 year ago
I first read this incredible book when I was a little kid before Nooks were even created and I loved it and since The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is clearly a classic I figured it can only be better if I chooose it as an ebook to read to my younger family members so they can see how great this story is too! I started reading a couple of pages and there was some mis-spelled words and so I figured it was only on a few pages but than I kept on reading and it just got worse and worse to the point where I could not not even read it before I just got flat out disgusted with reading a single line because whenever I tried to figure out what the author wrote it made me feel so stupid so I would not recommend reading this particulr ebook be read by anyone else.
sargerx More than 1 year ago
too many errors in the transcription. I gave up and decided to just read the hardback copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the most interesting book ever. You must read it!
read-knit More than 1 year ago
The story, of course, is great. But this edition came through with so many "typos" that I just couldn't read it. I got another copy through Gutenberg...
LoudWaves More than 1 year ago
I'm sure Tom Sawyer is a great book, but this scanned edition is so full of OCR errors that it's unreadable. Hard to even tell what Mark Twain is telling. Not only are many letters misread and the wrong ones inserted, the book is also full of misread punctuation that results in slashes and other marks which confuse. I guess since this edition is free that it's got some value, but it's sure no fun at all to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I ordered a free sample and evem though I ended up buying it, I still only have the free sample.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so so interesting. It took me awhile to read thow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book i got it at the lybary at my school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think you should get this book even though it has bad words.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess its okay ish, but its really boring. Uggghhhh why does school make us read such sucky books uuuuuuggggghhhhh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't pay attention to the negative reviews. Just. Read. It. You won't regret it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree to you both, it was filled with action, adventure, and esspessially (I spelled that wrong) excitement
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first when i saw the book i didnt think i was hoing to like it but when i started reading i knew i was wrong.that just goes to prove never judge a person or book by there cover
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its abriged version if you want the real version dont buy it its a waste of money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so boring that if i had a paper back version of it i would through it across the room and stomp on it with a high heel entill it is shredded to bits!!!! The end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book but it isnt tom sawyer. Its hucklberry finn. If you dont mind getting a diffrrent book from what it says then thats ok but warning wrong book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To many mispells snd random signs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As sir poopypants i declare this book the most wonderful book in the world@?factories and co. Sorry people who are to read this that was my sister and i will try to keep her off the the meantime this book is tho most wonderful book in the world