Reviewed by: Kimball, age 15
This book is a classic that changed America. Mark Twain is a very effective satirist, and in this book he has a variety of caricatures (including the protagonist, Huck!) This book is a sequel to his other book, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but they do not have to read together.
Time Period: Pre- Civil War
Huck Finn is a boy who lives with a widow and her sister, who have adopted him. The sister, Miss Watson, owns a slave, Jim. Jim and Huck are friends. When Huck's Pap shows up and kidnaps him, Huck escapes and pretends to be dead, when he runs into Jim who fled from the prospect of being sold downriver. Huck promises to help Jim escape and the two friends go off on a marvelous river adventure filled with con men, feuds, murderers, racism, and Huck's friend Tom Sawyer's wacky plan to aid Huck in helping a slave earn his freedom.
Themes: all men are created equal, do what is right not what society says is right, lead an honest life
Recommended Age: 12 and up, younger okay as as read aloud
A common anti-black racial slur is employed frequently as this book was written at a time when such expressions were not considered offensive. This book is NOT racist. That would contradict the book's message (which the author satirically claims is nonexistent).
Rating: 4 stars
Other books: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (previous book), Tom Sawyer Abroad