KLIATTMark Twain was an engaging person as entertaining as his characters. Born in 1835 (as Samuel Clemens), he was an excitable child who caused his parents much concern. He worked as a printer's apprentice and then learned to pilot a riverboat on the Mississippi. From the ages of 17 to 31, he traveled everywhere and wrote constantly, publishing stories here and there. At 31, he met and married Olivia Langdon. Many tragedies occurred with his children. On April 21, 1910, Twain died from heart failure. This A&E biography is entertaining, well written, and full of interesting facts about Mark Twain and his family. Reluctant readers will enjoy it and high school readers who do not want to wade through a huge discourse on Twain will find this exactly what they need. Recommended highly. KLIATT Codes: JSARecommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2001, Lerner/A & E, 112p, illus, bibliog, index, 22cm, 00-009561, $7.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: Barbara Jo McKee; Libn/Media Dir., Streetsboro H.S., Stow, OH, May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
Children's LiteratureSamuel Langhorne Clemens, known to the world as Mark Twain, was born in November of 1835, when Halley's Comet lit up the night sky, and died in November 1910, when the same comet "returned " to earth's view. This short (120 pages) biography is full of fascinating facts about this fascinating man. "Sammy" was a premature baby and a sickly infant who became known as a troublemaker. He played hooky from school and lied when he was caught. He was a "champion speller" and a favorite among the girls. He told stories and made people laugh. Some of his friends became models for some of his most-loved fictional characters�Aunt Polly, Jim, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher. He was appalled when he saw slave markets. At twelve he was apprenticed to a printer and learned to set type. He wanted to travel, was stage-struck, considered a career in acting and thought about joining a circus. But the Mississippi River was always there. "The river itself would be a source" of the fortune he was determined to find. As time passed, he met famous authors, politicians and actors. During the Civil War he joined the Confederate Army but his group of soldiers disbanded after a few months. He hid at his brother's house, hoping the army would forget about him. Apparently it did and soon he was hired as a correspondent to the Sandwich Islands�today's State of Hawaii. He was devoted to his wife and daughters. The book includes a list of sources, a bibliography, a list of web sites and an index. 2001, Lerner/A & E Biography, $25.26 and $7.95. Ages 12 up. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
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Mark Twain (A&E Biography Series) based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Susan Bivin Adler's biography of Mark Twain is a lively and compelling introduction to the colorful author's life. It fills a much-needed niche in children's literature: a biography that is readable but well-above the typical skimpy biography written for kids. This book has substatnce, and is well-suited to middle-schoolers, and older kids as well. I have throroughly enjoyed reading it with my eleven year old and seeing his obvious amusement at some of Twain's remarkable life experiences. I plan to make sure that our school library has a copy of this book!