cover image American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain

American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain

Don Brown / Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (32p) I

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.