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

UPDATE TIME: 2018-10-04 
Review Score: 3 out of 5 star From 9 user ratings

" One of my favorite biographies! Super informative and entertaining--my ten-year-old and I both loved it, and it made our visit of the Mark Twain House in Hartford even more special. :) " said.

" Witty, hilarious and a rollicking fun read. Great way to get into the psyche of Mark Twain, his misadventures and how his life shaped his stories. Really entertaining but insightful read. Short enough that you can finish it off in a sitting. " said.

" At first, I was thrown off by Fleischman's over-exaggerations of his life (not really knowing very much about Twain's known over-exaggerations in his own life), but when I read the Author's afterword I understood why he made the book into an over-the-top event. Twain who was a self-made man liked to joke, pump up his chest, and would be known to fib on occasion if that helped his story move along. This biography was gripping and made me appreciate Twain's work even more. " said.

" This was an odd but entertaining biography on Samuel Clements, aka Mark Twain. While I enjoyed reading, it's not something most older children/teens would benefit from in regard to learning enough about the famous author to write a biography report on. The information was there but it was delivered in a more story or tall-tale format, much like Twain himself would have written it. Points for creativity but negative marks for obfuscation. " said.

"Fleischman's own love of the absurd, the fanciful, and the ridiculous-yet-believable makes him the ideal biographer for Mark Twain. Both Twain and Fleischman are able satirists, great at telling a funny story that you laugh and laugh over, only later to realize that they were teaching you something at the same time as they were tickling your funny bone. The Trouble Begins at 8 focuses on Samuel Clemens' metamorphosis from human tumbleweed who acquired and abandoned jobs freely to a celebrated humorist, lecturer, and novelist. Yes, this is written at a middle-grade level, and yes, adults will get a big kick out of it too." said.

" Sid Fleischman's biography of this clever, funny man will appeal to a wide range of readers. Middle and junior high school readers will be able to appreciate the humor and wit in Clemens' musings, many of which are reproduced. A solid book that I would not be surprised to see garner awards at the end of the year. " said.

"Who is Mark Twain? And What did he do with Samuel Clemens? Even if you know that "mark twain" is a riverboat term, there is still a lot to learn about the man born Samuel Clemens: his fascination with mining and get-rich-quick schemes; his travel to the South Pacific, and his evolution as a journalist. This illustrated biography looks into the adult life of Mark Twain and the life behind the famous stories.

This is fascinating reading. The author presents this biography in the same way Sam Clemens studied the Mississippi River: plumb every depth and beware of changes in the current. His unique style shows readers how the events of Twain's life "fed" his stories, all the while using a style that draws out Twain's own words, famous and otherwise.

To read our full review, go to The Reading TubĀ®.
" said.

" I'm a big Mark Twain fan and thought Fleischman did a splendid job giving young readers a sense of the young writer through energetic and humorous writing. Goes down easily, well researched (Fleischman is clear that it is hard to separate fact from fiction with Twain), and designed too (at least the ARC was). " said.

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