Tom Sawyer is a mischievous boy being raised by his Aunt Polly in a Missuri town right on the Mississippi River. When the book opens, he's gotten in trouble at school and as punishment is supposed to spend his Saturday whitewashing her fence. But instead he's convinced his friends the job's so fun that they're trading him stuff just for the chance to slap the whitewash on.
When Becky Thatcher moves to town, Tom falls for her hard and they get "engaged." She breaks it off, however, after learning that he's already done this with another girl. To take his mind off his troubles, Tom goes to the town graveyard with Huckleberry Finn, whose dad is the town drunk. In the graveyard, they see the bad Injun Joe kill Doctor Robinson. When the murder's discovered, Injun Joe will blame Muff Potter.
All this becomes too much for Tom, who dares not say what he knows. He and Huck and their friend Joe Harper run off to become pirates. Camping on an island in the river, they come to find out that Aunt Polly believes they've all died and is planning their funeral. They show up!
Back in town, Tom gets his courage and decides to testify against Injun Joe. The rest of this very long book has mostly to do with Injun Joe's escape from the law and the boys' hunt for his treasure.
This report prepared by Ann Gaines
Tom Sawyer is a child who is bored of a city life; he wants to get out into the wild. However, when he notices a criminal murdering a guy in a graveyard, he gets scared. He then gets lost in a cave with the girl he has a crush on, but they both get out after finding a treasure.
This report prepared by Eugene Kim
For some reason, many of Mark Twain's best works have been relegated to children. This book is not written for children, any more than Huck Finn is. Children can read it and draw enjoyment from it since the basic story is straightforward and exciting, but the heart of the book lies in the racial tension, the actions of criminals and the law in attempting to deal with them and in the growth and development of a boy in a frontier society. It is a masterpiece of social commentary in a way that Dickens himself never rose to.
This report prepared by Kelly Whiting