Saturday, June 14, 2014

Huck How Huck Would Have Appreciated!

We all know Huckleberry Finn. He is the boy whose adventures, alongside Tom Sawyer, are read in almost every school in America. It is also the Mark Twain story that sparks racial controversy every time it is added to a curriculum. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a story we are all familiar with, but is it always accessible to students?

Huck's father comes and goes, but Huck doesn't mind when he is gone. It means he doesn't hit Huck. When Huck is taken in my a kind neighbor, he appreciates everything she is doing for him, but he struggles to remain proper. In particular, he struggles to remain confined inside four walls. When his dad returns to town, there is an adventure of epic proportions complete with a murder mystery, con men, Jim, the runaway slave, and treasure. 

The great thing about these Campfire stories is how they take a large, possibly dry story and abridge it into a fun, short, graphic novel. I don't usually like abridged versions, but more and more, I see the merit in these graphic shorts. They can inspire students to pick up the full story when they are ready for it, and even if they don't, they at least give them exposure to the story. Sometimes, because the story is heavily abridged, it feels a little choppy or disjointed, but that is the price you pay for this kind of adaptation! I like this series, and hope to pick up a few more. But one thing is for sure... this is the kind of fun, quick story a boy like Huck, who can't be in the same place for too long, would appreciate!

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