AMERICAN BOY by Don Brown
Kirkus Star

AMERICAN BOY

The Adventures of Mark Twain
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Brown begins his beautifully constructed picture-book biography with young Sam’s dangerous escapade on the frozen Mississippi River. Focusing on childhood incidents that will later appear in Twain’s books, Brown cunningly recalls the opening event in his conclusion: “Bye and bye, he remembered his boyhood, the glad morning of his life. As if skating ice cakes on a frozen river, Sam skipped from memory to memory and wove together great tales. . . . ” Brown’s eloquent, old-fashioned language echoes Twain’s own words, also generously sprinkled throughout. “My literature attracted the town’s attention, but not its admiration,” Brown quotes. Like his subject, Brown also skips from incident to incident, telling just enough to hold the reader’s interest, and like Twain, he makes the reader think, with his handling of such incidents as young Sam’s response to slavery, and his friendship with the outcast Tom Blankenship (the model for Huck Finn). Lively watercolors deftly depict Clemens’s exuberant character and youthful shenanigans, while their subdued tones are nostalgic. Includes bibliography and author’s note. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-17997-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003




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