Reviews for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Booklist Reviews 2010 January #1
The fourth entry in Papercutz' Classics Illustrated Deluxe line of graphic-novel adaptations reworks Twain's classic tale of jubilant delinquency in a full-color manga style. The boy's manic irrepressibility is a neat fit for the flitting quality of the anime-inspired artwork, and the signature fence-whitewashing scene is especially well handled. While the hoary dialogue at first seems at odds with the modern manga format, it soon settles into a nice rhythm that preserves much of the Twainian flavor. The lengthy adaptation is doggedly faithful, with little missing from the twists, turns, and digressions of the original. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2005 Fall
Purists may howl, but these heavily abridged and retold versions are skillfully done. The vocabulary is simple, the syntax is straightforward, and there is enough sly wit in each to encourage new readers to seek out the originals later--though they'd be better served to just wait. Illustrated with black-and-white drawings, the telescoped plots too often seem over rushed. Afterwords and discussion questions are appended. [Review covers these Classic Starts titles: [cf2]Anne of Green Gables[cf1] and [cf2]The Adventures of Tom Sawyer[cf1].] Copyright 2005 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
These inexpensive condensed versions of classic novels are quickly paced and competently told, with occasional black-and-white illustrations adding spice. Still, one wonders why the adaptations were created in the first place. Some tales (e.g., [cf2]Gulliver's Travels[cf1]) are already suited for children; others gain their depth from complexities of material and language, which is excised here for age-appropriateness. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
Seventeen full-color plates illustrate the classic exploits of Huck Finn and Jim, the runaway slave, as they raft down the Mississippi River. Kellogg's familiar illustrative style seems young for the intended audience. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Spring
The unabridged text of Twain's classic story is presented in a large typeface with plenty of white space. The squarish volume features a few pleasant, though unremarkable, ink and wash illustrations and a new foreword by Katherine Paterson. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1

This slender graphic adaptation of the Great American Novel preserves some of Twain's language, most of his plot and a good sense of his sardonic take on human society. Mixing dialogue balloons with enough boxed narrative to evoke Huck's distinctive voice, Mann packs in all of the major incidents and tones down at least some of the violence—the two con men are only "punished" here rather than specifically tarred and feathered, for instance. Similarly, though Huck gets viciously slapped around by his father in the pictures, in general there isn't much other blood visible. The illustrator's faces tend toward sameness, but Kumar populates his color art with strong, stocky figures, depicts action effectively and, by using irregular frames and insets, sets up an engrossing helter-skelter pacing. A good choice for readers who aren't quite up to tackling the original, with perfunctory but well-meant notes on Twain's life and the history of slavery in the United States. Co-published with its prequel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, adapted by Matt Josdal, illustrated by Brian Shearer (ISBN: 978-93-80028-34-7). (Graphic classic. 12-14)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
Considered the first great American novel, part of Finn's charm is the wisdom and sobering social criticism deftly lurking amongst the seemingly innocent observations of the uneducated Huck and the even-less-educated escaped slave, Jim. William Dufris's voice, unpretentious and disarming, like the book's main characters, seems the perfect armature on which to hang this literary strategy. Although he does an expert job with the entire cast, Dufris's delivery of Jim's dialogue is his crowning achievement. Out of context, Dufris's Jim might sound mocking and racist, due to his expert delivery of Twain's regional vernacular. Ignorance and intelligence, however, are not mutually exclusive, and taken as a whole, Jim's mind and heart come shining through, allowing the listener to reflect on their own assumptions. Tantor Media includes the entire text as a digital e-book on the final CD, a wise and thoughtful move in a market with swift and changing currents. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2014 February

Gr 7 Up--Two American classics transport listeners to Twain's Missouri with the mischievous antics of Tom Sawyer and the less savory, but equally appealing, jaunts of Huckleberry Finn. With characters drawn from his hometown, Twain's tales reveal the 19th-century culture, yet remain current. The boys' conquests range from Tom saving himself and his delicate sweetheart from a deep cave to Huck rafting down the Mississippi with a runaway slave and two con men. While far from perfect, the titular teens are never mean-spirited, and their misbehavior is often humorous. Narrator Eric G. Dove takes on roles from sweet, young Becky Thatcher to mean Injun Joe with clear dialect and country accents. This high-quality sound recording is a natural way to introduce Twain to students with one caution: the N-word, common in that era, is found in both novels. These recordings are useful additions to middle and high school libraries and solid components in any public library collection.--Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 January

Gr 5 Up-Tom Sawyer, that original American bad boy, returns in graphic-novel format. The manga-influenced, full-color illustrations bring a new level of dynamism to a text that is already quite dramatic, what with its murder, buried treasure, youthful romance, and presumed deaths. (Tom himself is thought dead twice.) This version doesn't shy away from the culture of the time; Injun Joe is still Injun Joe and Tom's bare backside still has many run-ins with Aunt Polly's slipper. In regard to the latter, there is brief, occasional nudity as a result of the skinny-dipping and spankings, but nothing gratuitous. While the overall work is of a generally high quality, it is not perfect. Visually, it is often difficult to distinguish among the supporting characters. In addition, the speech balloons are occasionally confusing, leaving readers unsure of who is speaking. Despite those minor flaws, this volume serves as a fine introduction to the story, the author, and his time and place.-Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Library, Ontario, Canada

[Page 130]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

Gr 4-6--These abridged versions of classic novels are designed to present the works for young readers, using an interesting format. Unfortunately, both books fall short of this goal. Instead of relating interesting stories, Kirwan simply tells readers what happened in short, choppy sentences. There is little dialogue among characters, and students will have a hard time understanding Jim's poorly written dialect. For instance, in Huckleberry Finn, he states, "'Nemmine 'bout a doctor.'" An error is evident in the same book when Jim describes the dead man in the timber house, telling Huck "He's dead--ben shot" and the illustration depicts a stabbing victim. Some paragraphs are so long that they take up an entire page, and indenting their first lines doesn't seem to be a rule. Poor writing, sketchy illustrations, and bad formatting will not inspire kids to read the original books. Notes at the end, which include a "Filling in the Spaces" section and character descriptions, are weak attempts to provide useful information.--Cheryl Ashton, Amherst Public Library, OH

[Page 121]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2004 March
Gr 2-4-Tom Sawyer's most precocious escapades are highlighted in this enjoyable performance by veteran storyteller Jim Weiss. He delightfully breathes life into Tom, his best friend Huck Finn, his beloved Aunt Polly, Becky Thatcher, and the villainous Injun Joe. Told in a slow, easy manner, Weiss evokes the feeling of a place and time where young boys could run free and have adventures. This abridged version aptly captures the essence of the classic, including such episodes as whitewashing the fence, the school teacher's anatomy book, running away to become pirates, the boys attending their own funeral, witnessing the crimes of Injun Joe, and the field trip to the cave. Beginning with a brief introduction to Mark Twain and ending with the allusion to what happens to Huck Finn being "another story," this production would be an excellent introduction for young people to the works of Mark Twain.-Veronica Schwartz, Des Plaines Public Library, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 November

Gr 3-5--Mark Twain's classic is reworked for young readers in this abridged version. The adaptation stays true to the original story's episodic quality, with each chapter detailing one of Tom's adventures. However, Martin Woodside's retelling omits some episodes, including the famous scene where Tom attends his own funeral. Other details are also altered for a younger audience. Archaic words are replaced by language that is readily understandable. Certain details are sterilized, such as changing Tom's interest in smoking to a fondness for chewing gum. As a result, this version doesn't capture the spirit of Twain's work. The complexities of Tom's character are abandoned in favor of producing a mediocre tale of boyhood high jinks. The narrator does a passable job, although the choice of a woman to read the book is questionable, and she makes Tom sound very young. Her soothing voice falls short in conveying action and excitement. Character voices are performed irregularly, and there is inconsistent pronunciation of some names.--Amy Holland, Hamlin Public Library, NY

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School Library Journal Reviews 2005 June
Gr 4-7-Even those who dislike adaptations will find much to admire in this retelling of the pranks, adventures, and fun of Tom Sawyer, a boy growing up in a Mississippi River town in the early 19th century. The reteller includes the most memorable adventures: from Tom's sly trickery with the whitewashed fence, cleverly manipulating everyone to do his work for him, to his and Huck Finn's grave-robbing episode, and Becky and Tom's scary night lost in the cave. The most memorable characters are here, too, from Aunt Polly to Injun Joe. This nicely realized adaptation manages to retain the flavor of the original without the old-fashioned style of expression. Quality is retained: the story is not Disney-fied and doesn't feel dumbed down. Pen-and-ink illustrations help interpret the action. A series of thought-provoking questions are appended, along with an afterword on the benefits to children of reading adapted classics.-Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 November
Gr 7 Up-Actor Thomas Becker has narrated many of Twain's stories previously for Commuters Library. His reading here is smooth, and his voice is clear and energetic. Southern accents are easy to understand, and the dialect complete with poor grammar flows naturally. Although he does not give a distinct voice to each character, there are many changes of speech to reflect the different age, sex, and race of the speakers. For the women's voices, he tends to use a falsetto. Becker is a master at knowing when to emphasize words and how to show emotion with his voice. He also understands when to cut back so that Twain's subtle humor can come through on its own. This required standard of American literature is brought to life for students. A wonderful selection for school libraries.-Claudia Moore. W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2002 September
Gr 7 Up-One of the best-loved and most famous characters in southern literature springs to larger-than-life size thanks to Thomas Becker's inspired delivery. The antics and adventures of Tom and his friends, Joe Harper and Huckleberry Finn, provide hours of solid listening pleasure in this skillfully done fully-voiced narration. Based on a comic exaggeration of Mark Twain's own childhood experiences and replete with both humor and nostalgia, this recording is an ideal way to introduce a new generation to what many literary critics recognize as a seminal work of American literature. Well-known scenes like whitewashing the fence, bible school competition, rafting the river, and being lost in cave while stalked by the infamous "Injun Joe" all provide listeners with a glimpse into life on the Mississippi in the 1800s a time when river traffic dictated the pace of life in many rural southern communities.-Cindy Lombardo, Orrville Public Library, OH Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 September
Gr 9 Up-All the highwater tales of Huck's journey are in this abridged version his faked death, the Jackson Island sojourn, the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, the Duke and the King, and his reunion with Tom Sawyer. Along the way, we are treated to a sensual feast of the sights, smells, and rhythms of the Mississippi River and the humanistic education of Huck that culminates in his assisting in Jim's escape. The familiar adventures of Huck and runaway slave Jim's odyssey on a raft floating down the Mississippi have been well documented previously in audio format with noted versions read by Ed Begley, Will Wheaton (both from Dove), and the 1985 Grammy nominated Durkin Hayes production read by Dick Cavett. This version, beautifully read by actor Mike McShane, is a wonderful contribution to the recorded Twain canon. McShane handles multiple characterizations well, but excels in Huck's folksy narrative voice and Jim's understated power and dignity. School and public libraries should not miss this excellent rendition.-Barry X. Miller, Austin Public Library, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 January
Gr 5 Up-The St. Charles Players superbly present the essence of Mark Twain's 1884 classic in this Radio Theatre rendition. With an 18-person cast, they retell the story in a variety of voices, using many of the author's original words as well as adding their own narrative and conversation. This audio version allows youngsters to learn of Huckleberry's trip down the Mississippi on a raft in the company of the (allegedly) runaway slave Jim without bogging them down with hard to understand dialect or offensive words. The style is reminiscent of the Golden Years of Radio drama, with original music and sound effects accompanying the dramatic telling. The aural quality is good, with clear enunciation. Although the action follows the book commendably and includes all the events of major importance, this cannot be used as a read-along version. This is not a drawback, but rather a means of enticing younger students to become acquainted with Twain's work. It would appeal to teachers or librarians who are looking for a lively way to introduce the classics. For older students, also consider Trafalgar Square's three-hour The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Sept. 2000, p. 84).-Joanne K. Hammond, Chambersburg Area Middle School, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1997 January
Gr 5 Up?Lapointe has colorfully illustrated various scenes from Twain's original story with detailed paintings and captioned each one with a quote from the text. Additional historical maps, reproductions, modern photographs, and other types of pictures from numerous sources give readers a better insight into life in the 1800s. They include pictures of Hannibal, MO, Mark Twain's birthplace and the inspiration for much of his work; animals and plants appear in the text along with common objects of the times. Most of them enhance readers' understanding. The result is a combination picture story/social commentary on the period. The trim size is a bit larger than that of most novels, allowing for a comfortable print size. Almost every page has at least one illustration and there are several double-page spreads. The only drawback to this version is that youngsters who are not familiar with the story may find the abundance of captioned illustrations in their myriad styles, formats, and colors distracting. However, for those who already know the story or are studying it in conjunction with 19th-century America, this version is a must.?Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

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