I am currently reading both “Jo’s Boys” and “Redcoats and Rebels” for school. The book I’ve finished for school already is Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” So that is the book I am reviewing now, and I’ll cover the others later.
(May contain slight *SPOLIERS*) The novel is about young Tom Sawyer, a boy who causes a lot of mischief. He lives in a town that has murder, drunk people, etc. The story covers his adventures (it’s in the name), his romance with Becky Thatcher (not inappropriate. The worst that happens is a kiss), and his friends, especially Huckleberry Finn, son of a town drunk.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is not a very hard book to read and understand. Shmoop gave it a 2 on the ‘Tough-O-Meter’ (10 being the hardest). It may be appropriate for the younger crowd if they understand a few things:
1) Tom speaks very improperly. His grammar is not considered proper in current times.
2) There is a guy named “Injun Joe.” He is a slave. I don’t remember if there are any other potentially offensive words for slaves in this book, but slavery is in it.
3) What Tom does is not always wise, proper, or good. He causes a lot of trouble. As long as the kids don’t get any “bright ideas” of turning into Tom Sawyers, it should be okay.
4) *SPOILER* There is a bit of violence. There is a murder, and there is a bad guy (“Injun Joe”) who got lost in a cave and died. There is also a sense of adventure, which could frighten young readers.
Overall, I think it’s appropriate for kids, teens, and adults, but it’s definitely important for a parent to make their own decisions about the book, because they know their child best.