Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known to the world by his pen-name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist, noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), which has been called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876, among many others. Beverly Lyon Clark is Professor of English at Wheaton College. She is author of Kiddie Lit: The Cultural Construction of Children's Literature in America, Regendering the School Story: Sassy Sissies and Tattling Tomboys, Lewis Carroll, and Reflections of Fantasy: The Mirror-Worlds of Carroll, Nabokov, and Pynchon. Her edited volumes include the Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, Louisa May Alcott: The Contemporary Reviews and Girls, Boys, Books, Toys: Gender in Children's Literature and Culture.
Huckleberry Finn may be the greater book, but Tom Sawyer has always been more widely read. Moreover, it is a book that can be enjoyed equally by both children and adults. Twain, who called it a "hymn" to boyhood, would be thrilled that in narrator Patrick Fraley his hymn has found its most passionate voice. Many good unabridged readings of Tom Sawyer have already been recorded, but most are simply that: readings. Fraley's performance is something more; in attempting to bring each character to life, his enthusiasm for the material is so palpable that the mere sound of his voice commands attention. A can't-miss addition to all libraries, including those that have other Tom Sawyer programs. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Gr 5 Up-ITom Sawyer, that original American bad boy, returns in graphic-novel format. The manga-influenced, full-color illustrations bring a new level of dynamism to a text that is already quite dramatic, what with its murder, buried treasure, youthful romance, and presumed deaths. (Tom himself is thought dead twice.) This version doesn't shy away from the culture of the time; Injun Joe is still Injun Joe and Tom's bare backside still has many run-ins with Aunt Polly's slipper. In regard to the latter, there is brief, occasional nudity as a result of the skinny-dipping and spankings, but nothing gratuitous. While the overall work is of a generally high quality, it is not perfect. Visually, it is often difficult to distinguish among the supporting characters. In addition, the speech balloons are occasionally confusing, leaving readers unsure of who is speaking. Despite those minor flaws, this volume serves as a fine introduction to the story, the author, and his time and place.-Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.