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Banned Book Review: Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

October 14, 2005

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and 84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Reason:  Racially charged language

I’ve grouped these two together because Huckleberry Finn takes place after the events of Tom Sawyer.  The first thing that should be known, is that the “racially charged language” is the word “nigger.”  It is used liberally throughout both books.  Mostly because that is the way people talked at the time.  The stories involve two young boys who are growing up in Missouri somewhere in the mid 1800s.  It is important to note that Huck and Tom’s perceptions of people are challenged frequently in these books, and much of Huckleberry Finn is spent exploring the mistreatment of black slaves and servants prior to the Civil War.  These are both excellent books, though younger children might prefer Tom Sawyer over Huckleberry Finn as the themes are more mature in Huckleberry Finn.  Recommended for “young adult.”

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