May 30, 2012

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Reading to Know - Book ClubEarlier this year, I mentioned the Reading to Know Book Club in the post about a really awesome theological book that consumed my reading moments in January called Beyond Opinion: Living the Faith We Defend.  (Linked to review.)  Since then, I've been rather quiet about the book club.  Not that I haven't tried...

This month I managed to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Having grown up near Elmira, New York, where Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens lived during his adulthood, it was about time that I read a Mark Twain book as an adult.  I suspect I read Tom Sawyer, but only own The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from my childhood days, so I can't be certain.

(It's the first book I read on my Kindle Fire.  I read this book mostly in short snippets, often feeding Little Sis and during the middle of the night...also feeding Little Sis.  I say that to let you know that I may have been distracted, at times, while reading.  For full disclosure, toward the end I was skimming a bit, a practice I would like to learn to do effectively, yet is difficult for me, but enabled me to complete the book.)

Most are familiar with Tom.  He is a rather normal boy, though he gets into a bit more mischief than typical.  (This was rather annoying at first, but I did learn that he does care and he does, indeed, have a conscience.  It's just not obvious at times.)  He lives with his aunt Polly, who does her best to raise him, but he certainly challenges her.
"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 an't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows." 
Over and over again, I wondered at Tom's age.  It is never stated.  I suppose I thought this book was often read by fourth or fifth graders, but there is plenty of mature themes in it.  A handful of curse words included, as well as derogatory terms that were still standard talk in the 1800's.  As a witness to a murder, Tom relies on himself and his friend, Huckleberry Finn, to sort it out.  For them, sorting it out means running scared for much too long.  From Tom's maturity and responsibility with certain matters, as well as the infatuation of Becky Thatcher, I put him in his early teens, maybe 12 or 13.

Tom Sawyer's antics and adventures would make for some good discussion.  I think it is still a book that boys, especially will content with and enjoy.  Let's just hope they don't begin sneaking off at midnight...I found the character of Huckleberry Finn to be quite interesting.  He's a kid living on his own, doing whatever he can to survive.  He is definitely a free spirit, and it is not surprise that he has his own book of adventures.

Thanks, Carrie at Reading to Know, for hosting the book club and letting us join in when we can!  Read all of the thoughts on Tom Sawyer here. (Want to join?  Click on the image above to see all the titles, including the one I chose for November.  You don't even need a blog to join!)   And thank you, Amy at Home Is the Word, for choosing Tom!

I'm happy to say I already have A Girl of the Limberlost, written in 1909, borrowed from the library for June's selection and d on my Kindle for free!

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

3 comments:

  1. I had the pleasure of visiting Virginia City, Nevada a few times, a town where Mark Twain lived for awhile. They of course have "authentic" pages with his writing on them, they looked to me like a washers bill or summary. It was fun to pretend it was his own writing!
    But anyway; I love the twinkle of Twain's writing, but he doesn't rely on too much tongue in cheek. The humor and plot are intertwined delightfully. I agree that it would be a good discussion book to read with ones own boys.

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  2. I had a lot of fun reading this selection again, and have enjoyed the various discussions and perspectives. It makes me look forward to Girl of the Limberlost, which I've never read!

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  3. Yay! Well, I'm glad you were able to find time to participate this month. I know it isn't always easy. So you've beat me to the Limberlost, I see! I haven't read it but am looking forward to that one.

    As you already aware, I changed my opinion of Tom during this re-read of him. (I don't think I've ever read Huck Finn though and now I speculate that I should.)

    It was fun to hear your thoughts. As you pointed out, Tom is definitely interesting to talk about seeing that he was so...well ... disobedient. :)

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