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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (published 1876) is a very well-known and popular story concerning American youth. Mark Twain’s lively tale of the scrapes and adventures of boyhood is set in St. Petersburg, Missouri, where Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn have the kinds of adventures many boys can imagine: racing bugs during class, impressing girls, especially Becky Thatcher, with fights and stunts in the schoolyard, getting lost in a cave, and playing pirates on the Mississippi River. This was the first novel to be written on a typewriter.

Chapter One – The novel opens with Aunt Polly scouring the house in search of her nephew, Tom Sawyer. She finds him in the closet, discovers that his hands are covered with jam, and prepares to give him a whipping. Tom escapes over the fence. Tom comes home at suppertime to help Aunt Polly’s young slave, Jim, chop wood. Aunt Polly asks Tom about skipping school. Tom explains his wet hair by saying that he pumped water on his head. 

Chapter Two – On Saturday morning, Aunt Polly sends Tom out to whitewash the fence. Jim passes by, and Tom tries to get him to do some of the whitewashing in return for a a marble. Jim almost agrees, but Aunt Polly appears and chases him off. A little while later, Ben Rogers, another boy Tom’s age, walks by. Tom convinces Ben that whitewashing a fence is great pleasure, Ben agrees to give Tom his apple in exchange for the privilege of working on the fence. Over the course of the day, every boy who passes ends up staying to whitewash, and each one gives Tom something in exchange. By the time the fence has three coats, Tom has collected a hoard of miscellaneous treasures. 

Read by John Greenman