Cover image for American boy : the adventures of Mark Twain
American boy : the adventures of Mark Twain
Brown, Don, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Provides a brief biography of the noted American writer who was born Samuel Clemens.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 5.5 0.5 73480.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS1332 .B76 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books-Appointment Needed
PS1332 .B76 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS1332 .B76 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
PS1332 .B76 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Our popular image of Mark Twain is of a gruV, gray-haired eccentric, the outspoken literary giant who created enduring novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
But once upon a time, Mark Twain was a boy named Samuel Clemens. His birth on November 30, 1835, coincided with the appearance of Halley's comet streaking across the sky. A dreamer, a prankster, a lover of great tales, Sam Clemens spent his boyhood years "in high feather," living out adventures along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. His beloved river would eventually carry Mark Twain far beyond Hannibal, Missouri, but he would return to the freedom, innocence, and vitality of his youth again and again in his writing.
In glowing watercolors and spirited text, Don Brown reveals the glad morning of Twain's life, now the classic American boyhood, and the forces that inspired his funny, irreverent, insightful, and groundbreaking works of fiction.

Author Notes

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies." He lives in New York with his family.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 3. The boyhood of writer Samuel Clemens is irresistible, with much of his youth inspiring scenes in his works that have become folklore in their own right. Brown does a spirited job of telling some of those stories. Young Sam--born when comet Halley streaked through the sky--was a dreamer and a prankster in Hannibal, Missouri. His buddies, his cave explorations, and, above all, the Mississippi River figured large in his life and later in his prose. Brown's strengths as an artist, making evocative vistas and suggesting architecture and flora, are in evidence here as in all his picture books, but he is less successful as a figural artist: faces sometimes seem unfinished and figures oddly formed. Young readers, however, will be so taken by the energy of his narrative that they may not notice. Pair this with William Anderson's River Boy (2002) for a vivid storytime. --GraceAnne DeCandido Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

With his usual solid research and pen-and-ink and watercolor wash accompaniment, Don Brown examines the young life of Samuel Clemens in American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain. The author examines the boy's rebellious nature and the adventures that found their way into his books (the character of Huck Finn, for instance, was based on Sam's friend Tom, who was "ignorant, unwashed, and insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as any boy had," according to Sam); Brown also tells how Sam adopted his pen name from a term used by a steamboat crew to indicate the water's depth. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-6-Echoing Twain's voice, this picture book biography gets to the heart of his work. "The books were read everywhere. They delighted most people, offended others, and made everyone think. They still do." Watercolor illustrations capture characters and times with understated skill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.