Huckleberry Finn, the Mark Twain classic, was written using a variety of period related southern dialects, which make it very colourful and an interesting piece of history but also very hard to read for younger readers or ESL students. This version has been edited to provide the story in a modern easier to read language.
Huckleberry Finn is a sequel to Tom Sawyer.
The original version can be downloaded on the Free Kids Books website here:
YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME UNLESS YOU HAVE read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. That book was written by Mark Twain, and he holds the truths mainly. Not all parts of the story are true, but most of it is. I don’t know anyone who tells the truth all the time, except perhaps Aunt Polly or the Widow Douglas or Tom Sawyer’s sister, Mary. These people are written about in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
That book ends like this: Tom and I find money that was stolen and we are allowed to keep it. We become rich. We each have 6,000 dollars in gold. Judge Thatcher put the money in a bank for us, and we can have a dollar a day. That is more money than a person can know how to spend.
The Widow Douglas took me into her home to live, but I did not enjoy living in a nice house. I put on my old clothes and ran away and was free and happy, but Tom Sawyer found me and said that if I want ed to join his club and be friends, I would have to return to live with the widow. For this reason, I returned to live with her.
The widow cried over me and gave me new clothes to wear, but I hated those new clothes. I felt too warm in them and I could not move my arms and legs freely. When supper was being served, the widow always rang a bell, and I had to come quickly. I was happier when I could eat whenever I chose to, though this meant I had to make meals of the bits of food other people had thrown away.
Sample From Original Text:
YOU don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly—Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is—and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.
Now the way that the book winds up is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece—all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round—more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.
The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn’t do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn’t go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn’t really anything the matter with them,—that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.
After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn’t care no more about him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people.
Download the original version here: https://freekidsbooks.org/adventures-of-huckleberry-finn/
About the Author: American Writer Samuel Langhome Celmens or better know by his pen name as Mark Twain was born on November 30, 1835. William Faulkner address him as “The Father of American Literature”.