Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Historical Fiction
The Trouble Begins At 8

The Trouble Begins At 8

Fall 2008 Historical Fiction
Ages: 9 - 12 yrs.
Author: Sid Fleischman
ISBN: 978-0-06-134431-2
Hardcover Price: $18.99
Literary biography is not normally at the top of the wish list for young readers. But Sid Fleischman has fine-tuned the form to produce a wonderful book about that most American of authors, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his nom de plume: Mark Twain. In breezy and colorful prose, Fleischman tells the story of Twain's adventures in the young United States. From the Civil War to the Gold Rush, Twain became the voice of America in its rawboned adolescence: sharp-eyed, wry, a bit rough around the edges, suspicious of piety and pomp, and ready for anything. Twain's life and literature are the stuff of history, and this enjoyable romp comes in the form of a beautifully produced book, richly illustrated with period photographs and drawings. As an added treat, the volume includes the story that marked Twains first assault on the national funny bone. A hint: it's about a fellow in California named Jim Smiley and a certain athletically gifted amphibian.
Ann Hillers   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Ann Hillers, a creative writing graduate of Duke University, is a mother of three boys and a former international tour director. Her work led her all around the globe and she's imparted her kids with the same wanderlust. They have traveled together to 20 countries including South Africa, Botswana, Nicaragua, Colombia, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia, where they all became certified scuba divers. After living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for six years the family now resides in California.

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