Sometimes I finish a book and I wonder why I have never read it before. That’s the way I felt when I finished Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I can probably tell you that I never read it as a child because I had some weird idea about it being for a boy. I had strange book prejudices that I think I have overcome as an adult.
This is a whirlwind of small book with laughable moments and moments when I wanted to gently guide Tom back the other way. It is a true coming of age story, but not in the sense that Tom has any huge realization about what it means to be a man. More so, he learns small lessons along the way while still maintaining his sense of adventure. Even though he is a bit of scoundrel, he has some redeeming qualities, such as when he sneaks back into his aunt’s house when they have run away to camp on the island. I knew he cared about his aunt enough to be sure she wasn’t worried sick about him.
As a future teacher, this book provided me some insight into the mind of boy. While Tom was somewhat interested in girls, he was more interested in the adventure of everything. For example, when he gets trapped in the cave with Becky, he is concerned with comforting her but he is also intrigued by the adventure of being lost in the cave. To be fair, it was entirely his fault they were lost to begin with; he was the one who wanted to leave the rest of the group. Maybe some more experienced teachers can help me think through how Tom compares to modern teenage boys.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It’s not life-changing, but I will definitely be recommending this book to future students. I give it a 5 out of 5 simply because it was so enjoyable. It’s clean and wholesome while also enjoyable. That’s a nice refreshing breath in the midst of some more modern young adult fiction.