Title: The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the the Wild, Wild West
Author: Sid Fleischman
Genre: Juvenile Non-Fiction, Biography
Date Finished: 30 October 2008
My Rating: 3
I was browsing the new non-fiction titles in the children's section at the library, looking for any books about penguins or dinosaurs that might interest my 3 year old when this book caught my attention. The book itself, the size, cover, photographs and illustrations were appealing and I was curious to read a biography about Mark Twain that was written for children.
Writing a biography about Mark Twain can't be an easy task, especially one aimed at young children. Twain did not exactly leave a lot of reliable material about his early years behind. And then, how do you capture the humor and wit of Mark Twain in such a way to make it appealing to your audience?
I thought Fleischman crafted a fun and witty look at Twain's life including the events that shaped his early works of non-fiction, er, fiction, or wait, are they fiction or non-fiction? Roughing It and The Innocents Abroad. Fleischman's style often seemed to channel Twains style of witty and tongue-in-cheek humor, which only seemed befitting and the best way to make a biography about Mark Twain appealing to a young audience.
The numerous illustrations and photographs throughout were a little poorly placed but added a great deal to the text.
We'll stick with the books about penguins and dinosaurs for my son for now and come back to this one when he is a few years older. :-)