Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain (Author)

C. F. Payne (Illustrator)

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Mark Twain's classic American story about a boy with a nose for mischief and a knack for avoiding any sort of work is here presented in vibrant detail, with new illustrations by C. F. Payne.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a tricky title from the start. Often lumped in with Huckleberry Finn, it has many of the same problems, but is more often found in the children's sections of libraries and bookstores. Like a lot of books from the past with out-and-out racist sections, it requires an adult reader to give it historical context. A new edition recently was released by Creative Editions with copious art by C. F. Payne. Indeed, if you were going to have a copy of this book in a children's room, you would have this edition. The art is lush, an the book doesn't skimp on images. Unlike books like Dr. Dolittle, the edition contains no preface from a contemporary author or reader. But also unlike Dolittle, none of the text has been changed, either. It's an interesting study in historical works for children and what we consider appropriate or inappropriate for young readers. Perhaps we've reached an age when most Tom Sawyers are being purchased for YA or adult collections. Its another conversation entirely to talk about where we place books of Tom's type. Where are they best suited? We've seen a lot of discussions lately about objections to contemporary publications with historical elements. Where do the books that are actually from the past go then? A talk for another post.

–Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse #8 Production , November 2015

Tom, Becky, Aunt Polly, and the other residents of St. Petersburg, MO, come to vivid life through Payne's exuberant artwork in this handsome reprint edition of the classic story. Finely detailed pencil drawings, stunning watercolors, and mixed-media compositions depict playful, Norman Rockwell-esque portraits, Americana, and thoughtful visualizations of Twain's iconic scenes. A work of art, this oversize edition is a lovely addition for collectors and libraries with large classics collections.

–Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal , February 2016