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The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

by Sid Fleischman

Published by Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2008
224 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-134431-2

Ages 10-14

Podcast featuring this book

In an unforgettable storytelling voice, rich with spirited language and wit, author Sid Fleischman brings the literary identity of Mark Twain to life. Starting with humble beginnings as Samuel Clemens in small-town Missouri, Fleischman highlights Twain’s critical childhood and adolescent experiences while providing an accessible historical backdrop for the author’s young life and times. As the subtitle suggests, this of the handsomely produced biography spotlights the pivotal years in which the impish and adventurous Sam Clemens becomes Mark Twain on page and in person. Colorful chapters such as “The Buffalo That Climbed a Tree,” “Thieves, Murderers, and Desperadoes,” and “The Great Holdup” chronicle the author’s life-changing experiences in Utah and California. A follow-up on his post-Wild West years, including his marriage and family and life of fame, conclude the textual portrait of a man famous for his quips, short stories, and novels. Historical photos and illustrations are placed throughout, and the book includes extensive references, a timeline, and “A Mark Twain Sampler” for readers less familiar with his work. (TM) © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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