The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Classic Starts Series)by Mark Twain, Martin Woodside (Abridged by), Lucy Corvino (Illustrator), Arthur Pober (Afterword)
Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),comes a dazzling new series: Classic Starts. The stories are abridged; the quality is complete. Classic Starts treats the world's beloved tales (and children) with the respect they deserve--all at an incomparable price.
"Tom Sawyer liked adventures, which means he was always getting in trouble." Searching for treasure, witnessing a murder, getting caught in a bat cave, tricking others into doing his work, running away with Huckleberry Finn--Tom Sawyer's antics and mischief-making are sheer, child-pleasing delight. Every boy and girl should experience the joy and fun of this classic tale.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter I: Tom Plays, Fights, and Hides "Tom!"
"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You, TOM!"
The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them 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 stove lids 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:
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 the air -- 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 all down again and I can't hit him a lick. 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 most 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 hooky this evening, and I'll just be obleeged to make him work, tomorrow, 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 I've got to do some of my duty by him, or I'll be the ruination of the child."
Tom did play hooky, 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. Tom'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 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 low cunning.
"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 her, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:
"Some of us pumped on our heads -- mine's damp yet. See?"
Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new inspiration:
"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!"
The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His shirt collar was securely sewed.
"Bother! Well, go 'long with you. I'd made sure you'd played hooky and been a-swimming. But I forgive ye, Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a singed cat, as the saying is -- better'n you look. This time."
She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
But Sidney said:
"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread, but it's black."
"Why, I did sew it with white! Tom!"
But Tom did not wait for the rest. As he went out at the door he said:
"Siddy, I'll lick you for that."
In a safe place Tom examined two large needles which were thrust into the lapels of his jacket, and had thread bound about them -- one needle carried white thread and the other black. He said:
"She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. Confound it! sometimes she sews it with white, and sometimes she sews it with black. I wish to geeminy she'd stick to one or t'other -- I can't keep the run of 'em. But I bet you I'll lam Sid for that. I'll learn him!"
He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though -- and loathed him.
Within two minutes, or even less, he had forgotten all his troubles. Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest bore them down and drove them out of his mind for the time -- just as men's misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. This new interest was a valued novelty in whistling, which he had just acquired from a Negro, and he was suffering to practice it undisturbed. It consisted in a peculiar birdlike turn, a sort of liquid warble, produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short intervals in the midst of the music -- the reader probably remembers how to do it, if he has ever been a boy. Diligence and attention soon gave him the knack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet -- no doubt, as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with the boy, not the astronomer.
The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Presently Tom checked his whistle. A stranger was before him -- a boy a shade larger than himself. A newcomer of any age or either sex was an impressive curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg. This boy was well dressed, too -- well dressed on a weekday. This was simply astounding. His cap was a dainty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons. He had shoes on -- and it was only Friday. He even wore a necktie, a bright bit of ribbon. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. The more Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his nose at his finery and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed to him to grow. Neither boy spoke. If one moved, the other moved -- but only sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all the time. Finally Tom said:
"I can lick you!"
"I'd like to see you try it."
"Well, I can do it."
"No, you can't, either."
"Yes, I can."
"No, you can't."
An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said:
"What's your name?"
"'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."
"Well, I 'low I'll make it my business."
"Well, why don't you?"
"If you say much, I will."
"Much -- much -- much. There now."
"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, don't you? I could lick you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."
"Well, why don't you do it? You say you can do it."
"Well, I will, if you fool with me."
"Oh, yes -- I've seen whole families in the same fix."
"Smarty! You think you're some, now, don't you? Oh, what a hat!"
"You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it off -- and anybody that'll take a dare will suck eggs."
"You're a liar!"
"You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up."
"Aw -- take a walk!"
"Say -- if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a rock off'n your head."
"Oh, of course you will."
"Well, I will."
"Well, why don't you do it then? What do you keep saying you will for? Why don't you do it? It's because you're afraid."
"I ain't afraid."
Another pause, and more eying and sidling around each other. Presently they were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said:
"Get away from here!"
"Go away yourself!"
"I won't either."
So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both were hot and flushed, each relaxed his strain with watchful caution, and Tom said:
"You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."
"What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger than he is -- and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too." (Both brothers were imaginary.)
"That's a lie."
"Your saying so don't make it so."
Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:
"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
The new boy stepped over promptly, and said:
"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."
"Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."
"Well, you said you'd do it -- why don't you do it?"
"By jingo! for two cents I will do it."
The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's noses, and covered themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form and through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and pounding him with his fists.
"Holler 'nuff!" said he.
The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying -- mainly from rage.
"Holler 'nuff!" -- and the pounding went on.
At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Nuff!" and Tom let him up and said:
"Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next time."
The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the next time he "caught him out." To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went away, but he said he "'lowed" to "lay" for that boy.
He got home pretty late, that night, and when he climbed cautiously in at the window he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in its firmness.
Meet the Author
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist noted for the novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which has been called "The Great American Novel") and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among many other books. Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and he spent time as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before finding fame as a writer.
- Date of Birth:
- November 30, 1835
- Date of Death:
- April 21, 1910
- Place of Birth:
- Florida, Missouri
- Place of Death:
- Redding, Connecticut
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
I read this book to my 6 year old daughter and she loved it. Keep in mind it's been rewritten and shortened up for a younger audience, but it was a great way to get her interested in the classics. We've read many from the series and have not once been disappointed.
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.
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.
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
It is a good book read make sure you read 4-7 what happens i 4-7 chapers
The video it AMAZING!!!!!! WE HAD TO READ IT FOR SCHOOL AND I WATCHED THE VIDEO.
Some of the dialect is old though. Hard to read at times. All in all a great book.
I'm reading this at school. So far it's a pretty good book.
This book is la bomb
I met him yesterday Tom sawyer is a ok person, but he took all of richard minors classes
Tom is a young trickster and his best friend is the lonely outcast of the town hucklberry fin . The mischif tom falls in love with becky thacher. Tom sawyer is a great book with murder,pirates,romance,mischif,and maby things are not what they seem. Tom and hucklberry better whach out at every corner.