Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain


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Specially abridged version of the beloved classic about a mischievous but well-meaning young lad who barely avoids calamity as he bounds along from one adventure to another. Memorable cast of characters includes Aunt Polly, Becky Thatcher, Huck Finn, Injun Joe, and others. 31 black-and-white illustrations. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486291567
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 01/10/1997
Series: Dover Children's Thrift Classics Series
Edition description: ABR
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 539,441
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)
Age Range: 8 - 14 Years

About the Author

After the Civil War, Samuel Clemens (1835-1910) left his small town to seek work as a riverboat pilot. As Mark Twain, the Missouri native found his place in the world. Author, journalist, lecturer, wit, and sage, Twain created enduring works that have enlightened and amused readers of all ages for generations.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


No answer.


No answer.

"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"

No answer.

The old lady puffed her spectacles down and looked over them and about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service-she could have seen through a pair of stovelids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:

"Y-o-u-u Tom!"

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?"


"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that truck?"

"I don't know, aunt."

"Well, I know. It's jam-that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."

The switch hovered in theair-the peril was desperate

"My! Look behind you, aunt!"

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger, The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board fence, and disappeared over it.

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is, But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's A down again and I can't hit him a tick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows, Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hockey this evening,* and I'll just be obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to punish him, It's mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and Ive got to do some of my duty by him, or I'll be the ruination of the child."

Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's wood and split the kindlings before supper-at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work. Torn's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a quiet boy, and he had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep-for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of tow cunning. Said she:

"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"


"Powerful warm, warn't it?"


"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No'm--well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:

"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of tier, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:

"Some of us pumped on our hcads--mine's damp yet. Sec?"

Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trickThen she had a new inspiration:

Table of Contents


Title Page,
Copyright Page,
1 - Tom Whitewashes a Fence,
2 - Tom Meets Becky Thatcher,
3 - Adventure in the Graveyard,
4 - Life as a Pirate,
5 - Muff Potter's Trial,
6 - Hunting for Treasure,
7 - The Cave,
8 - Finding Treasure,

Customer Reviews

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Tom Sawyer 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this in school, probably in 7th grade, because it was assigned. I was not a reader at the time and so really didn't enjoy it very much. I wanted to reread it as an adult. I believe I enjoyed it more this time although I do find Twain wordy, but authors of that time period were. I am not sure the subject of this story is one that would have ever gotten me excited. I even set the book down for many months with only 60 pages to the end. I picked it up and finished it in two quick sittings. I don't think the story is suddenly more interesting to me. I do think I was eager to put the book in my finished pile. I also have to believe that I am better now at reading classics since I have read many more the last few years.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To below.
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matt_reads More than 1 year ago
Tom Sawyer is about a boy in the south that is lazy but very clever. I read this book last year and I thought it was really good. Tom is really cleaver because he gets people to do his chores for him. In one chapter tom gets a lot of people to whitewash the fence or paint the fence white. He also makes the kid give him something valuable to paint the fence. Tom sawyer is a great book to just sit down and read. You can finish the book in one day. You would not want to put thew book down if you read the first page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book Review Outline Book title and author: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain Title of review: Tom Sawyer Number of stars (1 to 5): 4 Introduction This book was meant to teach readers a lesson. The lesson is to never give up and to keep fighting for what you need to do. I think this book was very adventurous and exciting. The author's purpose was to help people understand the story better by putting in a lot of detail. I think that everybody should read this book and try not to omit this book from your knowledge. Description and summary of main points This book is about a 13 year old boy named Tom Sawyer and another 13 year old boy who is an outcast of the town who does whatever they want at any time. The author Mark Twain has a very good imagination for story telling and is very valuable to other readers. I think the book is very good for people who like adventurous and mystery books. The two boys go and start their own club in a cave. While the two boys are following a mysterious man and find out about a murder. They swore in there own blood to never tell anybody by the risk of getting killed themselves. They fake there own deaths and run away from the town set out on there adventurous journey down the Mississippi river. Evaluation On my own opinion I think that the plot was very strange that they found a murder case by accident. I also think that the two young boys were very courageous, but also not very smart because they ran away from home for no reason. The theme was mostly pointed out from the boy's adventure because they never gave up trying to find out who murdered the man. The style of Tom Sawyer is a very mysterious and adventurous story that takes place back in the 1800's in a small town in Mississippi when times were very hard and money was never wasted. Conclusion I love the story because of the setting is way back in the day where you could do almost anything you wanted. This story was very exciting at some points and very questioning at some other points in the story. Mostly kids and adults should read this book because it might be exciting to them. The story is very a great book for people who like mystery and adventure books. As you might one day read this book you also might be interested in books such as this one. Your final review This very adventurous and mysterious book was very good and extremely exciting. The books theme was very distinctive in there adventures and the way they valued or showed their emotions with each other. This story is about two thirteen year old boys who go on one crazy adventure trying to solve the mystery of a murdered man who got killed in a graveyard. They end up getting blamed and flee down the Mississippi river to escape them. I think that this book was very distinctive and very good. Kids and adults would probably like this book hopefully as much as me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
panda_luvr More than 1 year ago
very good.very funny and eductional. top 10 classic books.helps teens devolep a vision of future life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The meaning of the book is to teach people, not to lie, not to run away from your troubles, like Tom and Huck did, to always try to do the right thing and to trust in your family and close friends.

I can relate to Tom Sawyer, because I quibble sometimes my way through trouble just like him. I also like to do fun activities, like go outside and play games and to look for new ways to do things, like exploring, searching for treasure, I use a metal detector and found treasures too, OK, not $ 12,000, but some day ...

Tom Sawyer, the main character, is a 12 year old boy who lives with his Aunt Polly in the small southern town of Saint Petersburg, Missouri on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1876.

Huckleberry Finn, Tom¿s best friend and sadly the town¿s outcast.

Becky Thatcher, the town¿s judge¿s daughter and Tom¿s girlfriend.

Aunt Polly is Tom¿s guardian, she is very strict, but also kind and cares for Tom and is worried about his wild ways. Tom thinks that his Aunt doesn¿t like him because she beats him.

Injun Joe is a ruthless criminal, who chases Tom and Huck because they saw him kill someone.

The story is about the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, two mischievous very active 12 year old boys.

One night, Tom and Huck sneak to the graveyard to perform a ritual to get rid of warts. They get scared when they hear voices and hide. They see Injun Joe, Dr. Robinson and Muff Potter (the town drunk) arguing, Dr. Robinson knocks out Muff Potter, but then Injun Joe kills Dr. Robinson with Muff Potter¿s knife, making it look like Muff Potter killed Dr. Robinson. Tom and Huck swear not to say a word about what they had seen, for fear of getting killed by Injun Joe.

The next morning, Sid, Tom¿s step-brother tells Aunt Polly that Tom snuck out and she cries. Tom gets upset and runs away to Jackson Island with Huck and Joe Harper. The whole town thinks they died and prepare a funeral for them. The boys come back and all are happy that they are well.
When summer vacation starts, so does Muff Potter¿s trial, everyone thinks that Muff killed Dr. Robinson. But that changes when Tom gets on the witness stand, he tells of all he saw and heard about Injun Joe killing Dr. Robinson. Injun Joe then escapes the courtroom and Muff Porter is set free.
One day, both Tom and Huck search for treasure at the haunted house on Cardiff Hill. Suddenly, Injun Joe and another criminal come in the house wanting to hide stolen money and accidentally find the treasure, which they take and hide. Both Tom and Huck want to get the treasure back.
During a party, Tom and Becky get lost in MacDougal¿s cave. At the same time, Huck is spying on Injun Joe and hears that they want to torture and maybe kill the old Widow Douglas. Huck gets help and they scare Injun Joe away. In the cave, Tom sees Injun Joe, who gets scared and runs away. Tom finds a small hole that they crawled through to the outside. Everyone was happy to see them. Becky¿s father ordered to have the cave locked up. Tom then told everyone that he saw Injun Joe in the cave. When they opened the cave, they find Injun Joe had starved to death.
Not giving up, Tom and Huck went back in the cave and found the treasure that Injun Joe had hidden - $ 12,000 !

Being so grateful that Huckleberry Finn had saved her from Injun Joe, Widow Douglas adopted him and made him her son, making him very rich and giving him a home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this in eighth grade and all I did the entire time was complain. This book is about some redneck kid that cannot control himself or lead a productive life. A famous American classic? Is THIS what people want every other country to refer to when they think of America? As a European immigrant this was very dissapointing. I sincerely hope that Tom Sawyer is cast aside from the required books kids must read in middle school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much it is one of my favorites. This is nothing but a 5. This is outstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book, 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' by Mark Twain (or Samuel Clemens) is a truly amazing and incredible book I would give this book four stars. It was one of the best books I've read in a long time. The reason that I gave this book four stars instead of five, is that it's plot wasn't very clear at times and was wandered off of. Like, the book was really about a murder, of a man by a man named Injun Joe, but Twain jammed in a whole bunch of unneeded events. But I believe that he did this because one event that seems unneeded really is the cause of the end of the story. Another flaw that this book had, was that it's introduction by Jean Craighead George maded you turn the book into a paper pillow. Some of the things I liked about the book was that one, it was absolutely hilarous. Some of the funny parts were when the biggest character, Tom Sawyer, puts a 'medicine' in his cat's mouth and that makes the cat go absolutely crazy. It starts jumping all around the house, whooping, until it flies out the window. He also runs away with his friends, Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn, to become 'pirates'. Then all the people in the town think that him and his friends drowned in the bay near the town. So him and his friends hear about this and attend their own funerals!! This book is about a extremely clever boy named Tom Sawyer who is raised by his Aunt Polly and has a brother named Sid. This boy causes his Aunt and also his town more trouble than you could imagine. So one night him and one af his friends, Huckleberry Finn go to the little town graveyard at midnight to try out a magical cure for warts. Then out of the fog they see 3 men digging up a grave. One of the men gets ticked at the other and then they fight. Well, one ends up dead and the killer is Injun Joe. Then, after that, a whole bunch of relativly unimportant events take place, but to sum it up, the only important thing that is found in this jumble of events is that one of the grave robbers, Muff Potter is accused for murder. So after that jumble of events the day of Muff Potter's trial comes, and Tom is unexpectedly called to the witness stand nad he tells that Injun Joe killed the murdered man. So Injun Joe runs out of the courtroom and escapes. So after that the 2 boys, Tom and Huck, see Joe a few times in another jumble of relitively unimportant events. Then Tom and his sweetheart, Betty Thatcher, are in a cave and get lost, there, Tom and finds Injun Joe at the same time he is found by a search party. Injun escapes though. But the next day he is found dead and Tom and Huck find treasure that Injun had been hiding. They also recieve a huge reward and live happily ever after. Thanks for reading my story. My name is Michael Bratti. I go to Harris Road Middle School. I have been playing guitar for six years and am also a purple belt in karate. I hate school and love to just hang out. Thanks for reading, Bye!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about a boy named Tom Sawyer who was getting into trouble mostly because of his annoying little brother Sid. He wants to do more with life than schoolwork and just going to school, but to have fun and find adventure. When he meets a kid named Huckleberry Finn, and they become good freinds. They do find many adventures together that they will never forget. I think that this book is about friendship and having fun, but not to forget the real important things in life. I would recommend this book to people of all ages because it will teach little ones not to do the things that Tom and Huck did. This book would be interesting for anyone who likes adventure stories. I would recommend this to anyone who just loves to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I read it for school this summer and I had so much fun. At first, I was reluctant to read it but as the book progressed, I laughed and had as much fun- perhaps even more- as Tom had doing the crazy things he did. Everyone should read it. I thought the whole book was humorous and I loved how there was mystery involved in it. It made me wish I could explore a cave and had me wanting to get scared just for the fun of it. It had me imagining crazy situations and thinking, 'Now, that's something Tom Sawyer would do!' Also, a lot of the things Tom did were realistic. For example, when he would think of Becky's sorrow if he were to die, and Aunt Polly's remorse for ever scolding him. I think the, 'I've lost my knife' excuse the first time Tom and Joe smoke was funny. I loved the part when Tom, Huck, and Joe attend their own funeral. I was surprised at Huck because before I read the book, I had only a slight idea of certain parts in it. I know now that I was missing out on a lot of information about Huck. I really enjoyed it and while the first couple of chapters may be slow, I really think you ought to continue to read it because it is a classic and sooner or later in your life you will most likely encounter this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The setting in this book was in southern times around the late 1800's. These time where when hanging took place and dirt roads were main highways. The people were a lot more polite than half of our people today. Their were one room schools. These time were when the school systems believed in corporal punishment. The kids didn't ride in school buses but ran or walked to school everyday. The main characters of this book are: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, and Injun Joe. Tom Sawyer was a good but adventurous young boy that thinks he loves Becky Thatcher. Huckleberry Finn is almost the same as Tom but he dad was killed. Becky Thatcher was the prettiest girl in school and that's why Tom has a crush on her. Injun Joe is the meanest most cold-blooded man alive. The main plot of this story is: Tom was running to school one day as fast as he can, but he was still late for school. Then the teacher yelled at him and told him to sit with the girls (which tom really wanted to because that's where Becky Thatcher sat). So he was trying to talk to her the whole class period but she ignored him. Then finally it was recess and Tom went right to Becky as she ran to the bench. Once they began talking she also like him so they decided to get married, not a real one, so Becky kissed tom on the cheek and the Tom said, " I used to be married to Amanda." So then Becky was mad and ran away. Then Tom ran away from school to the river as he met Huckleberry Finn. They started talking and they both declared best friends. So days went on and neither Tom or Becky talked but then Becky began getting mad at herself for running away. Then Tom got all of his friends and made a raft and floated away to an small island near Mississippi and stayed there for several days. Tom went back and hid under his bed hearing a conversation and overheard that there was going to be a funeral. So then Tom decide they should all go back and hide and watch there own funeral. But when his aunt found out that she was a mad as a bull. Then she made him do hundreds of chores. So then that night Huck and Tom went to the grave yard to do something and they say three men that they recognized and then they saw one of the killed and the other unconscious Injun Joe killed a man with Muff Potters knife and made it look like Muff did it. So then Tom And Huck went to the fort and wrote in their own blood that they will never tell a soul about what happened. Well Tom went to the trial and heard Injun Joe saying all these lies as Tom yelled out that that was a lie and told the whole story about that night and then Injun Joe ran away. As Tom was scared to death of him he had a low profile for the next couple of weeks. And with no sign of Injun Joe, Becky had a big party inviting everyone. Later Becky and Tom went into the cave and got lost for several days and one night when Becky was asleep he saw the hand of Injun Joe a few feet from him he also went asleep but the Tom found a way out and he carried Becky there and he saved both of there lives. Then the next day Tom and Huck went into the cave and found many thousands of Dollars. I personally loved the story but it had it good and bad points. My favorite part was when they got lost in the cave and Tom saved both of their lives.
thegamer67 More than 1 year ago
Now before I say anything about this book I wanna say something.... this book is a very long book that drags that seems like ages!! It can get very boring at parts and it can get to the point to where you just wanna go to sleep.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tom Sawyer is only about the age eight or something around that age. In this book he or in this one part he tries to live on this island with a couple of his friends. T he island is in between this river. but the plot is mostly about treasure. in the end they or Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn find abunch of gold.