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Related Resoures

Mark Twain: A Life
by Ron Powers. In-depth, thought-provoking biography from a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic.

Mark Twain Himself: A Pictorial Biography
by Milton Meltzer. Drawings and photographs supported with excerpts from Twains letters, speeches, articles, and books.

Mark Twain & Company: Six Literary Relations
by Leland Krauth. Krauth explains Twain's personal connection and thematic relationship to Bret Harte, William Dean Howells, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Matthew Arnold, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling.

Mark Twain and Medicine: “Any Mummery Will Cure”
by K. Patrick Ober. Twain's novels were filled with medical themes and imagery, but he often looked beyond the conventions of traditional medicine regarding his family's health.

Mark Twain and Travel
edited by Terry Mort. Excerpts from Twain's travel books.

Sentimental Twain: Samuel Clemens in the Maze of Moral Philosophy
by Gregg Camfield Mort. Discourse on the question of race in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and America's ambivalence about Twain's work.

When in Doubt, Tell the Truth and Other Quotations from Mark Twain
Edited by Brian Collins. Seven hundred of Twain's most memorable aphorisms and musings.


About the Big Read

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of citizens. The Library, in partnership with the Cincinnati Park Board and Joseph-Beth Booksellers, is pleased to bring The Big Read to Hamilton County throughout the month of October. Our featured book will be The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Check our program calendar for information about programs and book discussions, or stop by your local branch library to pick up a copy of the book and a reader’s guide.

And be sure to join in our online discussion about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!

Big Read Kickoff

Celebrate the launch of The Big Read during “Tom Sawyer Day” in Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion on Sunday, October 4 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. During this family fun event hear live music from Jake Speed and the Freddies. Meet a Mark Twain “copycat” who will emulate the sharp wit of one of our nation's defining cultural figures. Play Tom Sawyer games and participate in a “Tom Sawyer” workshop with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. Learn about the history of the Ohio River and its wildlife with naturalists from the Cincinnati Park Board. Catch the spirit of this by-gone era as we record your best Tom Sawyer childhood adventure. And be sure to pick up your free copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (while supplies last)!

Tom Sawyer Gift Packs and BB Riverboat Cruise Giveaways

Enter to win one of five Tom Sawyer gift packs featuring copies of the novel and prizes (courtesy of Joseph-Beth Booksellers and the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati). Visit Cincinnati Family Magazine to enter.

Read the book, pick up a reader’s guide or attend one of The Big Read programs at your local library to be entered to win two tickets good for a BB Riverboat cruise. One pair of tickets (courtesy of BB Riverboats) will be given away at each of our 41 locations.

Mark Twain Lecture

Join Dr. Leland Person, Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati, as he discusses the life and times of Mark Twain on Sunday, October 18 at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Library’s, Huenefeld Tower Room. Find out about the events that inspired Mark Twain to write The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

“Down by the Riverside” Exhibit at the Main Library

Coinciding with The Big Read, the Cincinnati Room has a new exhibit featuring first editions from its Mark Twain collection. In addition to first editions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and other works by Twain, the exhibit will showcase a few of his letters. Journals and logbooks from steamboat and towboat captains as well as images from the Inland Rivers Library will complete the exhibit exploring life down along the beautiful Ohio and mighty Mississippi. The exhibit will be on view from September 19 to October 18. The Cincinnati Room is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Library.

Resources for Teachers

Throughout October, The Library will offer a wide variety of programs that will help introduce your students to this great work of literature. Programs will include book discussions and programs based on themes from the book, from presenters such as The Cincinnati Park Board and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. You can also contact your local branch to schedule a librarian to present a book talk or lead a classroom discussion. Information about programs, curriculum standards and a teacher’s guide – including lesson plans and essay topics, is available here.

About Mark Twain

“Mark Twain,” the call made by riverboat men measuring the shallows at the bow, was one of the pen names chosen by Samuel L. Clemens, renowned American humorist, author, essayist, satirist, travel lecturer, and storyteller. His two most famous titles The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were based on his experiences as a boy growing up along the Mississippi River in Hannibal, Missouri in the 1830s and 1840s. Both have become classics in American literature. Read more...

About The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876, was a literary departure of sorts for Twain, as he used a centralized character and softened his use of satire. Based largely on his years along the Mississippi River in Hannibal, St. Petersburg in the novel, it is highly autobiographical, drawing on Twain's childhood memories of family and friends. Read more...

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

Cincinnati Famil & Northern Kentucky Family Cincinnati Parks Joseph-Beth Booksellers BB Riverboats