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Tom Sawyer (Real Reads)

Overview

Tom Sawyer is a respectable boy in a little Mississippi River town. Huck Finn is a freedom-loving, neglected outcast. What better playmate could Tom want?

One night, innocent games of pirates and Robin Hood turn serious when the boys witness a murder in the graveyard. The murderer will kill them if they tell the truth. What should they do?

The boys decide to search for the murderer’s treasure. What risks will they take? Who else will they ...

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Overview

Tom Sawyer is a respectable boy in a little Mississippi River town. Huck Finn is a freedom-loving, neglected outcast. What better playmate could Tom want?

One night, innocent games of pirates and Robin Hood turn serious when the boys witness a murder in the graveyard. The murderer will kill them if they tell the truth. What should they do?

The boys decide to search for the murderer’s treasure. What risks will they take? Who else will they endanger? Will they have the courage and quick thinking to escape from dark caverns, cross the mighty Mississippi, and outwit the criminals? Will they find what they are looking for?

Real Reads are accessible texts designed to support the literacy development of primary and lower secondary age children while introducing them to the riches of our international literary heritage. Each book is a retelling of a work of great literature from one of the world’s greatest cultures, fitted into a 64-page book, making classic stories, dramas and histories available to intelligent young readers as a bridge to the full texts, to language students wanting access to other cultures, and to adult readers who are unlikely ever to read the original versions.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—These abridged versions of classic novels are designed to present the works for young readers, using an interesting format. Unfortunately, both books fall short of this goal. Instead of relating interesting stories, Kirwan simply tells readers what happened in short, choppy sentences. There is little dialogue among characters, and students will have a hard time understanding Jim's poorly written dialect. For instance, in Huckleberry Finn, he states, "'Nemmine 'bout a doctor.'" An error is evident in the same book when Jim describes the dead man in the timber house, telling Huck "He's dead—ben shot" and the illustration depicts a stabbing victim. Some paragraphs are so long that they take up an entire page, and indenting their first lines doesn't seem to be a rule. Poor writing, sketchy illustrations, and bad formatting will not inspire kids to read the original books. Notes at the end, which include a "Filling in the Spaces" section and character descriptions, are weak attempts to provide useful information.—Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607546610
  • Publisher: Rosen Publishing Group, Incorporated, The
  • Publication date: 12/15/2009
  • Series: Real Reads Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name MARK TWAIN, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

Twain was born during a visit by Halley's Comet, and he predicted that he would "go out with it," too. He died the day following the comet's subsequent return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age," and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature."

JUDITH HUNT, originally from Washington State, is an illustrator/painter/cartoonist/designer who has produced a diverse array of artwork for books, magazines, television, comics, videos, and toys. She has worked as an art director and staff illustrator/designer for magazine companies. She currently illustrates educational texts and children's books from her studio in Kennebunk, Maine, and showcases her fine art in local art shows.

Bestselling American author ANNA KIRWAN is the author of two titles in The Royal Diaries series, Victoria, May Blossom of Britannia and Lady of Pelanque, Flower of Bacal, as well as a title in the Portrait series, Of Flowers and Shadows. She is an accomplished poet as well, and her work has appeared in a number of anthologies, including The Alchemist’s Retort and Alphabestiary.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

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