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Was ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ assigned reading at your school?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 14, 2011

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Photo of Barb Thompson

“It was. I don’t remember what grade, though.”

Photo of Colin Bradt

“I read it on my own. It was good, but I liked ‘Huck Finn’ more.”

Photo of Shelby Lemon

“It wasn’t.”

Photo of Katie Walter



Bill Lee 6 years, 8 months ago

Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn were both required reading when I was in school, but that was so long ago they hadn't been off the best sellers list very long.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

No, 'Tom Sawyer' was never assigned to me in school. But I read all four of the series many times: 'Tom Sawyer', 'Huckleberry Finn', 'Tom Sawyer, Detective', and 'Tom Sawyer Abroad'.

The last two were quite short, not up to the quality of the first two, and were never well known. 'Tom Sawyer, Detective' is longer and better than 'Tom Sawyer Abroad', which is a very brief short story with ridiculous incongruities. Mark Twain must have written that one on a weekend when he was rather bored.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

It is rather telling that 'Tom Sawyer, Detective' and 'Tom Sawyer Abroad' are not even mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Samuel Langhorne Clemens, whose pen name was Mark Twain.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

The story line of 'Tom Sawyer Abroad' involves Tom Sawyer and a friend ending up in a dirigible in which they cross the Atlantic ocean. They land in the desert in Africa, and they see a lion walking by, leaving tracks in the desert sand.

I thought, wait a minute. There are no lions in the desert!

I don't remember how he got back from Africa.

Lisa Medsker 6 years, 8 months ago

Wow. The one time I mentioned 'Tom Sawyer, Detective', nobody believed it was a "real book"! Glad someone else on the planet enjoyed it!

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

Not sure if it was even in print yet when I was in school. The Earth was still flat, even. I don't know why I'm sharing this. My family would be so proud.

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

Wasn't that the book about the kid that was a cross dresser (not that there's anything wrong with that) who got caught because he pulled his knees together to catch something tossed into his lap? Kid couldn't paint either, had the whole neighborhood trying to show him how it's done.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

Two different kids in two different books.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

RoeDapple, this is in 'Huckleberry Finn', by Mark Twain. I like it.

"Telling the truth is like sitting on a keg of gunpowder and lighting it just to see where you'll go." - Huckleberry Finn

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

(Unfortunately, some people have actually done this. But they were looking forward to meeting 72 fine upstanding young women.)

Catzilla 6 years, 8 months ago

You're thinking of "Ma Vie En Rose" :-)

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

I know if I called my friends names like he did I woulda got whacked upside the head with a board and sent home. My parents woulda been so proud . . . or not.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 8 months ago

But, but, but....g_rock......the Teletubbies are gay and watching them converts kids to the 'lifestyle.' Just ask Jerry Falwell, "Attorney" Kline's boss.

jlzack 6 years, 8 months ago

I wish! We had to read "The Scarlet Letter" & "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

dogsandcats 6 years, 8 months ago

No. I have never read it. Saw the movie.

BorderRat 6 years, 8 months ago

Yup, so was Catcher in the Rye. Talk about starting a free-for-all at the PTA that year.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

When I was in high school, the English teacher gave us an assignment. He told us that we were to pick a book to read on our own, and write the name of it on a piece of paper. Then, if he considered that book to be appropriate for the assignment, we were to read it and then write a book report about it.

He pointed out that for some books, he would need to get a signed paper from our parents that it was all right with them for us to read it. A few students in the other class had picked a book that he considered to be quite good, and for that one, he would certainly need parental permission. But they had not written the name correctly.

On the chalkboard, he wrote the correct name of the book:
'Catcher in the Rye'

Then he wrote on the chalkboard how the title had been written incorrectly by a few students in the other class:
'Catch Her In the Rye'

(This is not a joke. It really happened!)

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure if you're serious or not!

A) Mid-grade or premium gasoline is required for some engines with a high compression ratio. In a high performance engine, with regular gasoline there is a premature detonation at random times and places within the cylinders, instead of being fired in a controlled fashion by the spark plug. It is essentially a Diesel effect. The resultant sound is called "pinging" and damages the rings on the pistons. If you don't plan to keep the car long, don't worry about it, and let the next owner worry about the excessive oil use and smoke coming out the exhaust.

If your car does not require it, there is no point in buying it.

B) To make it appear as though you are paying less per gallon than you actually are. The last digit is usually ignored by the mathematically challenged, which is an amazingly high percentage of the population.

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

I have a fun story that involves a poodle skirt . . . but I'll save it for when the OTS question is right for it. (Damn, my face is warming up just remembering that! Hell of a thing to do to a 13 year old boy!)

Scott Morgan 6 years, 8 months ago

Rara, you cut almost all the barrel off. A little known fact.

After you do this, show it to a police officer, and he will stamp it legal. Laugh and tell him nobody tells Rara how long his shotgun should be. .

see you in 2 to 5 years.

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

18 inch minimum barrel length and overall minimum of 26 inches. Best done by a gunsmith so you have paperwork confirming the legality of your firearm. With a $200 registration fee you can do it like this.

RoeDapple 6 years, 8 months ago

Don'tcha just love the big boy toys! . . .

Scott Morgan 6 years, 8 months ago

Mossberg short barrels come with a clear metal stamp.................18 1/4 inch.

feed some 3 inch buck bangos in a Mossie 500, make sure your glasses are on tight and let it rip.

LadyJ 6 years, 8 months ago

I remember when they came out with the politically correct bedtime story book It was hilarious. They could do the same for Tom Sawyer. Bet the kids would read it just for fun.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 8 months ago

When we begin to change books we really begin to fog history. The truth is always somewhere in between. I read recently Columbus has gotten a bad rap.

Do kids know Native American tribes fought other N.A. groups and sold land? Yes, our Native Americans did in fact own land. ahhhhem, Baker Wetlands for instance? Do kids know Native Africans hunted and sold slaves?

LadyJ 6 years, 8 months ago

I have the abstract to my property in North Lawrence and the first transaction is where it was bought from the Chief of a Native American tribe.

Deja Coffin 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn were required reading at dear old EHS when I was in school. "Dat truck dah is trash; en trash is what people is dat puts dirt on de head er dey fren’s en make ‘em ashamed.” I remember having to memorize this quote for class. Thank you Mr. Bova for helping me appreciate American classics like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, and The Great Gatsby.

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