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Mark Twain

A Great and Sublime Fool: The Story of Mark Twain
      Mark Twain is one of America's most celebrated authors. Known for his sharp wit and his beloved books-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and many others-Twain was one of the most popular figures of his day, and his work remains widely read. Twain's own life, though, was filled with drama and adventure, and often was the source and inspiration for his works.
Born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, Twain, even as a child, sought freedom and adventure. Whether it was running away from home aboard a steamship or accidentally rolling a boulder into a local office building with his best friend, Twain always tried to live life to the fullest. As an adult, he set out traveling America, making his way to New Orleans, New York, and then California, hoping to cash in on the Gold Rush. Through it all, he wrote articles and letters, often printed in his brother's newspaper, and gradually came to realize that he had a talent for writing, and might use that talent to make a living.
      After gaining some fame with travel books and essays, Twain tried his hand at being a novelist, and found even more success, thrilling children with his stories of adventure and mischief, and amusing adults with his keen satirical eye and wit. His life, though, was still filled with drama and misadventure. Throughout it all, Twain always maintained a warm but incisive humor for which he remains beloved and respected.

REVIEW:  "In this clear and lively biography, Caravantes discusses her subject's childhood adventures in Missouri, which later became the basis for his short stories and novels. Throughout his life, he loved to travel and wrote many detailed letters from the road, which were often printed in various newspapers. He earned his river pilot's license and navigated the Mississippi River, taking the pen name of Mark Twain from a nautical expression . . . The author offers a straightforward, chronological glimpse of the man behind the larger-than-life legend of Mark Twain. The black-and-white and full-color photographs and reproductions enliven the presentation, and a lengthy time line and source notes make this a good resource for reports."
                                                 --School Library Journal, 2010