Publisher: Progeny Press
Item #: E651
Level: Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
Tom Sawyer is one of the most popular protagonists in the history of American literature. Although Tom resides in a small, ordinary Missouri town, his daring exploits land him in the center of many thrilling adventures.
Tom lives with his Aunt Polly, an elderly woman who dearly loves her nephew but struggles to control her mischievous charge. Tom loathes going to school or church. He would rather spend time immersed in fictional plots or romancing Becky Thatcher, the new girl in town. Tom envies the life of Huckleberry Finn, the town outcast. Huck, homeless and essentially an orphan, can do whatever he pleases and doesn't have to obey anyone.
While testing a wart-removal cure in the town graveyard, Tom and Huck witness the brutal murder of Dr. Robinson. Both Tom and Huck wrestle with feelings of guilt when the wrong man, Muff Potter, is prosecuted for the crime. However, the boys initially hide their shared knowledge out of fear of retribution from the guilty party, Injun Joe.
Bothered by his conscience and the 'unjust' treatment he receives at home, Tom plots an escape from his gloomy existence. Tom, his friend Joe Harper, and Huckleberry Finn run away to a nearby island where they decide to become pirates. The residents of St. Petersburg are convinced that the boys must have drowned in the Mississippi River and grief consumes the entire village. Tom's dramatic plan to walk into his own funeral causes him to become the focal point of community life.
The normally quiet town is brought to life again during Muff Potter's murder trial. Tom remains deeply troubled that an innocent man may face the ultimate punishment for the act and eventually makes a significant decision at great personal cost.
Though still worried that Injun Joe may seek revenge, Tom and Huck become distracted from their concern with a new exploit: they decide to search for buried treasure. But when an unexpected encounter with Injun Joe reveals a vast treasure, the two boys set aside their fears and focus their efforts on claiming Injun Joe?s amazing treasure for themselves.