The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn

70616030Lynn: I love books that start out with warnings to the reader!  “The Editors” caution us on the first page:

Be advised that the author of this book,

Huckleberry Finn,

is

NOT A WRITER!

The stage is set, the tone established and the fun begins as Huckleberry Finn himself (with considerable help from Robert Burleigh and Barry Blitt) turns the tables on his famous creator and tells The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn (S&S/Atheneum 2011).  Huck tells us that it’s time someone told about “Mark Twain, his own self” and he, Huck, “knowed him ’bout as well as anyone.”  And we’re off on a highly colloquial and entertaining journey through Twain’s life.  Blitt’s wonderful caricature-style illustrations are as much fun as the text.  Huck looks in on a large-headed Twain in two-page spreads depicting the many roles and stages of the writer’s life.  Huck’s picturesque language may take some explaining to the youngest readers but they will love Huck’s disregard for “the King’s English.” Our focus group loved this book.  It makes a great read aloud and the illustrations are packed with wonderful details that draw readers back for closer looks.  And along the way, kids will learn a lot!

This is a fun way to introduce Twain and biographies to young readers but it is also ideal to use with older students studying Twain’s famous writings.  Put this on a visual presenter and have fun.

I have to say too that Twain may be my favorite American author so I came to this book with my fingers crossed.  Happily, I left it smiling with pleasure.  Thanks, Huck!

twain-insideCindy: I reckon this is  my favorite bioografy this year. Our middle schools are putting on a production of Tom Sawyer this week so there’s extra interest in Twain right now in this neck of the woods. For such a spare book, Huck hits the highlights and does so in a tone and style that adds to the understanding of Twain and his writings. Huck says about The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, “It’s funny, and it slides down pie-easy.”  The same could be said for Huck’s work here. I most highly recommendate this book.

It got me to thinking that it might be fun to have other characters narrate the biography of their creators. The possibilities are endless:

Louisa May Alcott by Jo Marsh

Dr. Seuss by The Grinch

William Shakespeare by Puck

and…. what would you suggest?

nonfiction_mondayPlease head to the Jean Little Library blog for this week’s Nonfiction Monday blog round-up.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

1 Comment on "The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn"

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  1. scopenotes@gmail.com' Scope Notes says:

    Oh, man – this looks great. Thanks for the review!

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