Mark Twain (1835-1910) ,originally Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American writer who also worked on boats, in a printing-works and as a journalist in Nevada. His books are mostly for young people, but his Pudd’nhead Wilson is a crime which characterises the first murdercase solved by use of fingerprints. His main works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi and especially The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
The scene of the book takes place nearby the Mississippi at the end of the 19. century.
Tom Sawyer is a young boy whose both parents are dead. Therefor he lives with his aunt, Polly, and his younger half-brother, Sid. Tom has got a very good friend who he spends a lot of time together with, that’s Huckleberry Finn. Huck is the young "pariah" of the village. He does not go to school, and he lives alone in a hogshead. All the other children looked up to him and wished they could be like him, and of that very reason almost none of the mothers liked him. Tom spends time together with Huck almost every day, and many times that is the reason why he comes late to school.
One time Tom is late at school, he is punished by sitting on the girls’ side of the school-house. Tom gets to sit together with a girl named Becky, and Tom doesn’t see that as a punishment at all. He and Becky becomes very close friends and we are later in the book told that they get married.
Tom and Huck do often see things that they should not have seen. One of this things happened at the graveyard at midnight one night. They saw three men who were digging up a coffin. One of these men were Injun Joe, and it ends up with he killing one of the men. Tom and Huck vitnised all this, but they were very afraid of Injun Joe and they therefor swore to keep mum about it.
Another time the boys decided to go treasurehunting. Tom knew of many places where there could be hidden treasures. One of them were an old haunted house. While they are searching around there, Injun Joe and one other guy shows up. They are about to hide some silver they have stolen, but they end up finding a large amount of gold in the house. Tom and Huch hear that the men are going to hide it in "number two".
Tom finds out that the tavern in the village has a room, number two, which is always locked. He also sees Injun Joe lying drunk on the floor there one night. Then they are sure that this is where the gold is hidden.
One day all the kids in town went on a picnic to a big cave a few miles down the river. While they were in the cave, somehow Tom and Becky lost the other children and they got lost. It was a deep cave and when the two kids didn’t have more candles left they just had to sit down and wait. While they sit there, Tom spots Injun Joe in the cave, but Joe doesn’t see Tom.
The people in the village did not miss the two kids before the day after. When the word got out, ,any men hurried to the cave and started searching. Three days went, and they were starting to give up. But that night a fisherman came driving into town with the two kids. They had found a way out of the cave that nobody knew of, and then they met the fisherman.
While all this was happening, Huck was watching the tavern to see if anything happened in room number two. And one night Injun Joe and an other man came out of the room. Huck followed them all the way to a house of an old widow. He heard them talking about hurting her, and Huck ran for help. He got three men to go and see. They saved the widow, but they didn’t get Injun Joe and his friend. After this Huck and the three men became heroes in the village.
After Becky and Tom got back, some men locked up the cave so that something like this would not happen again. Tom wasn’t told about this until a few weeks later. When he told them he had seen Injun Joe there, the people hurried down to get him out, but it was too late and he was already dead.
A little while later Tom and Huck got to think of the gold that they hadn’t found yet, and they came to that it had to be in the cave. They started to search inside the cave, and there was the gold.
When they got back to the village there was a party for Huck and the three men who had saved the widow that night. And she told Huck that she wanted him to live with her. Huck agrees to that as long as he is allowed to do the things that he likes to do, and that he doesn’t have to do the things he don’t like.
And afterwards Tom and Huck live happily on the 12000 dollars the gold was worth.
This is a typical book for young people. It is exciting, entertaining and it is a story where you can recognise yourself. This language of the book is not modern English, but south state American. This makes the book very hard to read, and many times you have to go back a little while to get the point. That is about the only negative thing I can say about the book. And I can surly recommend it to other people at my age. It is very good training since all the difficult words are explained.