Tom Sawyer Recommendations

Book Cover of Tom Sawyer


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This book is a much more adult story about what Huckleberry pursues after his fun with Tom Sawyer. It is a lot more mature, but it is extremely thought provoking and represents an interesting view into the American South in the early 1800s. It is written by the same author, takes place in the same settling, and continues the story of some of the characters from Tom Sawyer. All of these reasons, plus the provocative story itself, make this book my recommendation if you want more like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  

If you enjoyed the “boy finding his way” aspects of this story and want something a little lighter, I recommend Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. It is a modern story about a young man whose plane crashes in the wilds of Canada and he has to make his way with, you guessed it folks, a hatchet! The story tackles the challenges of young adult life in a wild, adventurous environment hopefully none of us are ever forced into. This is a young adult fiction book full of boyhood adventure, like Tom Sawyer, but in a more modern setting.


The Goonies (1985) – Every kid born after 1876 should read Tom Sawyer in middle school, and every middle schooler born after 1985 should watch The Goonies, too. The cult classic features another band of mischievous preteens that get up to no good, and even climaxes with treasure in a maze of caves crawling with a few villains of their own. Some good stories should never say die.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938). One year before David O. Selznick made Gone with the Wind, he produced The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This is, in my opinion, the most faithful adaptation of the novel in existence – and there are many – and newcomer Tommy Kelly carries the 90 minute newly Technicolor film (worked on by color film pioneer, William Cameron Menzies himself). Kelly and Selznick bring out the mischief, nostalgia and above all sentiment that brings audiences in and back again.

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