I recently finished Mark Twain's classic book called Tom Sawyer.  It was a very thought provoking novel in addition to being an exciting adventure.  It taught me a lot about life and relationships while keeping me entertained at the same time.  The main character Tom Sawyer taught me many lessons on both ends of the spectrum.  By that I mean both what to do and what not to do in a given situation.

        Through Tom’s various shenanigans, such as leaving home while pretending to be a pirate, the reader is sucked into the novel wanting to know more.  There are various occasions where Tom proves himself to be either gallant or stupid.  This keeps the reader from ever truly knowing the outcome of his various adventures until Twain chooses to reveal them.  Overall, Tom Sawyer was an outstanding novel, and it kept my interest from cover to cover.  If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend it to anyone in middle school or above in order to get the most out of it. If you have already read Tom Sawyer, please let me know what you thought of it.

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Comment by Danny Johnson on March 9, 2012 at 8:11pm

While I have not yet read Tom Sawyer, I look forward to reading it because of all the positive reviews I have seen. After reading your post, I noticed some similarities to the book The Catcher in the Rye, which my English class read earlier this school year. For example, Tom leaving his home reminded me of Holden leaving his school. Also both Holden and Tom seem to act "gallant or stupid" in the various situations they get themselves into.

Comment by Shawn Ahn on March 12, 2012 at 11:51pm

I've read Tom Sawyer before, and I really enjoyed it like yourself. I love the setting and the adventures Tom has. If you really like Tom Sawyer, you should also try reading Huckleberry Finn

Comment by Matthew Jackson on March 14, 2012 at 8:54pm

I actaully read Huckleberry Finn last year and AP Lang and Comp with Mrs. Enk.  That was the main reason for me deciding to read Tom Sawyer as well since they share two of the main characters. 

Comment by John Howard on March 16, 2012 at 2:30pm

I have read Tom Sawyer and I have to say it is one of my top five favorite books. It was interesting to read about another kids childhood. Epecially one with so many great experiences. I completely agree with you. Good blog.

Comment by Amy Pine on March 30, 2012 at 2:51pm

I'm glad to see you were influenced to read this based on something you read in class last year. It's always great to see someone enjoy a classic.

Comment by Richard Ketter on April 12, 2012 at 2:56pm

Dear Fellow Fremdenger,

            Ah Yes.  I remember this book; A sultry tale of hidden treasure, and duping the townsfolk.  Tom Sawyer was a phenomenal novel, but the one to pursue it would be astounding.  Yes, I speak of course about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  I often refer back to this book when I think back on my days as a way wayward river explorer.  It all started during a cool spring sunrise.  I sat with my friend Michael Wilkison as the sun sprung like a novelty taco bell ball into the great blue above.  I know Michael had no reason to leave our home town of Carbondale, but I had my own reasons.  My brother, Robert, was incredibly abusive to me in our childhood.  Not in the physical kind of way, for he wasn’t very athletic, but he did have the tongue of a monster.  I’d never felt as downtrodden in all my days as I did when I was soaked with offenses from my brother. So I decided I must go.  My first step of course was to fake my own death so they wouldn’t follow me.  So at the first sign of dawn I left my post with Michael, and I went home.  I filled my tub with as much fake blood as I could purchase at the local Halloween store, and I dumped fish carcasses in the tub for effect.  The plan was full proof.  They would never find my body in such a mess of carnage. 

            From there I dashed to our country club’s lake.  I boarded my john boat, which was already stocked with essentials.  I shoved off from shore, and away I was.  The night seemed so calm underneath those stars.  I immediately regretted not buying a net cover, or bug spray though.  I felt eaten alive.  After a night of thrashing and painful itchiness I awoke to find the day greeting me.  Soon after I heard something; it was the definite swoosh of a helicopter blade.  They were after me! Perhaps they assumed I had melted down the drain and reconfigured in the lake.  Another daring means of escape I had not thought of myself.  So I brought the raft ashore into hiding, and I squatted in the bush.  As I was squatting I noticed something behind me.  I could feel a presence lurking closer and closer.  I thrashed around suddenly, ready to meet my maker! All I found was former Ugandan War lord Joseph Kony behind me.

“Don’t you tell nobody I’m here!  I ain’t goin’ away to no prison!” Kony said

I says, “Joseph Kony! You shouldn’t be round here! They’re all a lookin’ fer you in Uganda!”

Ole’ Kony says, “I runst’ away to America to start ma life agin’.  I’m gonsta be a pinter!”

I says, “Well there musn’t be no harm in bein a pinter, if that’s what youra fixin to do! How bout you come with me Kony!”

            Kony said he would gladly join my expedition into the Illinois wild.  After the Helicopter was far off, we went back riverside.  As we went down the rolling tides we always had to keep Kony under my fishing gear, because nobody needed to see a Ugandan criminal of humanity sittin’ around MY john boat!  So he just would sit tight, and talk about all the fun he had back home in Africa, and I’d share stories bout all the gang down in Illinois and how we had played African War Lords once.  At that point I always thought about Michael.  I would always be that feller from Kenya, and he’d let on he was cuttin’ off my limbs out in the woods.  But those days were gone now that I was a runaway. 

            Pretty soon we were comin up on marina. Then I saw it.   The conservation police were comin’ out on the water right toward my john boat!  I stopped the trolling motor on it, and hid Kony real good underneath all the rubble.  Then I set to thinkin’.  What would my poor Christian mother say if she knew I was housing a criminal of humanity?  I realized I had put myself in an awful moral dilemma.  Kony was my only friend out on the wild waters,  but I had a moral responsibility to turn him in to the authorities.  I reckon if I’da had Hitler, or Mussolini, or any other fascist on my boat I’da thought the same thing.  So I says to myself, “I’m gonna turn Kony in and That’s that! There’s no stopping me from doin my moral ‘sponsibility!”

            The boat halted to a stop near our boat. The officer aboard says, “Hey boy this boat isn’t certified to this lake.  Do you have your Illinois documentation stickers?”

            “ALRIGHT I HAVE HIM.  DONTCHA LOOK NO FURTHER I GOT HIM! HE MADE ME DO IT!  I NEVR’ MENT TO GET INTO CAHOOTS WITH A WAR CRIMINAL!” Well I guess I did have it in me to turn in Joseph Kony, but that was only the first problem to overcome.  Fore’ I knows it Kony’s up at my neck with my fillet knife!

            “Why’d you gotta do it Rich! We was friends back der on da river, but you had to go and turn me in!” Kony was mighty furious with me, but I figured that those Conservation police were good shots, and I especially knew that you can’t learn a war criminal to not cut little children with knives when they got the ‘portunity! 

            “BANG BANG”  went the conservation officer.  I soon enough realized that these fellers didn’t have no guns on them they just had real good mouthin sounds.  They weren’t no real police.  So I had to think on ma two own feet.

            “Hey Kony, if you give me that there knife, I’ll get rid of those two meddlin officers there on that boat! Then there ain’t no worries bout my trust! I always wanted to be a child soldier fer ya!” I said it slyer than any boy east er Mississippi coulda.

            “Well I guess ya do have a point der…Alright Rich I’ll give you dis knife here, but don’t you-“   And there it was.  That fillet knife was a few fathoms into his gullet fore he could speak a word. 

            So after my exploits of killin off famous war criminals and such, I figured I could take on my abusive ole’ big brother, specially with this new vernacular I picked up off the river.  So I went home a hero, and left my river days behind.  And that good sir, is exactly what I think of your Tom Sawyer book report.


                                                                                                                        Richard Ketter

Comment by Sawsan Kahil on April 16, 2012 at 9:54pm

I can only leave a modest comment on this post having only read few pages and specific experts assigned to read. I can say that the little I read of tom sawyer was written authentically and true to the era and we are immediately charmed by Tom's mischievous boyhood. You are overwhelmed with twains vibrant descriptions and elaborate plots. I especially loved his colorful imagery when introducing Huck. This is much as I can say about Tom Sawyer, but if it is anything near Huckleberry Finn, which I pride myself in reading completely, I am sure it was an honest, all American classic that should be read by our age group in particular, although not limited to.



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