Tom Sawyer is often avoided, and has at times been banned from schools, because of Twain's use of the "N" word which appears several times and his derogatory portrayal of Native Americans in the form of the dangerous villain Injun Joe. The novel is an extremely enjoyable one, however -- full of humor and suspense -- if readers accept that the book's outdated, unfortunate portrayal of people of color is more a function of the characters' views than the author's.
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NEA Big Read
A mischievous, imaginative boy of about 11, Tom is often on the wrong side of the rules at school and at home. Late one night, Tom sneaks out with his friend Huckleberry Finn, and the two witness a violent crime. Afraid for their own safety, Tom and Huck promise each other to keep the night a secret, and Tom carries on his usual activities: playing pirates with his friends, flirting with the pretty Becky Thatcher, and worrying his Aunt Polly.
But Tom and Huck soon find themselves in serious trouble, because they can't ignore their consciences, or the fact that the criminal has some treasure they can't resist. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has stood the test of time because Twain's perceptive and humorous portrayal of young boys is so perfect and so universal.
Twain's sardonic wit keeps the proceedings from ever seeming precious or teachy; Tom is a realistic character who could exist in any time, and his story is full of engaging slapstick and suspense. Tom Sawyer may offend some readers because of the author's use of bigoted language, but as with Twain's masterpiece, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , readers should keep an open mind to understanding the difference between the worldview of the author, and that of his characters.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer | Study Guide
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written in the s. What aspects of the book seem "historic" to you, and what seems like it could happen in any time? To gain further insight into Twain's views on race and slavery, read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Book Review
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Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twain's classic is full of humor and suspense. Mark Twain Literary Fiction Rate book. Read or buy. Popular with kids. Based on 1 review. Based on 10 reviews. Get it now Searching for streaming and purchasing options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free. Get it now on Searching for streaming and purchasing options A lot or a little? The parents' guide to what's in this book. Educational Value. Positive Messages. What parents need to know Parents need to know that Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of this great American author's best-loved novels.
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This is a classic adventure book. Petersburg, Missouri on the Mississippi. The novel's events occur prior to the Civil War and before the abolition of slavery. Tom Sawyer: the protagonist of the novel.
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Tom is a romantic, imaginative boy who acts as a natural leader to his contemporaries in the town. Huckleberry Finn: one of Tom's friends, but a boy who lives on the outskirts of middle-class society. Injun Joe: the villain of the novel. Joe is a half Native American, a drunkard, and murderer. Becky Thatcher: a classmate of Tom's who is new to St.
Tom develops a crush on Becky and ultimately saves her from the dangers of McDougall's cave.
Aunt Polly: Tom's guardian. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the story of a young boy's maturation. Tom is the undeniable leader of his "gang" of boys, leading them on a series of escapades drawn from the stories he has read of pirates and thieves.
The novel moves from the antics of Tom's irrepressible sense of fun to a more dangerous kind of adventure when he and Huck witness a murder. Ultimately, Tom must put aside his fantasy world and do the right thing to keep an innocent man from bearing the guilt of a crime committed by Injun Joe. Tom continues his transformation into a more responsible young man when he and Huck avert the further violence threatened by Injun Joe. Share Flipboard Email.