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The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark…

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

by Sid Fleischman

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This book pulls you in and holds your attention. Fleischman's storytelling is so reminiscent of Clemens that I often thought I was reading an autobiography.
Enjoyed the pictures throughout.
  JLT70 | Jul 28, 2016 |
While many students read Mark Twain's work, they may know nothing about his life. I think students will appreciate the cartoons and drawings, hopefully making it more appealing. ( )
  CelenaM511 | Dec 4, 2013 |
A re-telling of Mark Twain's life from childhood to the publication of his first writings (and subsequent fame) this is YA biography at its best: engaging writing (Fleishman is definitely channeling Twain), well-paced, well-referenced (does this librarian's heart good :-) and spiced with Twain's own words of wit & wisdom. In addition to all of this, we have wonderful archival photographs and drawings. Anyone, at any age, who wants to understand better the man who wrote the greatest American novel of all time, should read this. ( )
  mjspear | Sep 12, 2013 |
Gr 5-9-This biography covers enough of Samuel Clemens's youth for readers to appreciate how autobiographical Twain's later novels were, but the seven years that the writer spent meandering the Wild West are at the heart of the book. Fleischman chronicles Clemens's various bouts of gold fever and get-rich-quick schemes in the Nevada Territory and the San Francisco area, but shows that it was always his newspaper writing that provided stability. At age 30, Clemens was reborn as Mark Twain when his short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was accepted by a magazine and drew popular acclaim. An "Afterstory" provides brief information on Twain's subsequent marriage and the publication of the novels for which he is most famous. Although similar in scope to Kathryn Lasky's A Brilliant Streak: The Making of Mark Twain (Harcourt, 1998), Fleischman's account is more engaging as he slips easily into Twain's drawling cadences. The illustrations and photographs are rich and varied, and the back matter is a work of art in itself: the time line, annotated bibliography, and references will prove useful to report writers, and the inclusion of "The Celebrated Jumping Frog..." is an extra treat.-Kim Dare, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information. ( )
  KimJD | Apr 8, 2013 |
Have you met Mark Twain? If you haven't, or if you met some stodgy old coot, you should pick up this biography and meet the hilariously funny alter ego of Samuel Clemens! The title of Sid Fleischman's newest book comes from the original publicity posters created by Mark Twain for his first lecture: "Doors open at 7, the trouble to begin at 8." Samuel Clemens was one for adventure of all kinds, from piloting riverboats on the Mississippi, writing as a journalist, humorist and novelist, prospecting, and spending an entire two weeks as a soldier during the Civil War. One of his best friends referred to him as "the hardest-working lazy man I ever knew!" Fleischman doesn't spend a lot of time on the most famous works, like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; instead, he spends his time showing us the events that became the fodder for many of those stories and novels. This is a well-written, amusing biography that includes cartoons, photos, and illustrations which add to the delightfulness of the title -- and Mark Twain is someone that every student should meet. 6th grade and up. ( )
  KarenBall | Sep 23, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Fleischman’s illustrated biography skips along hitting the high points of Twain’s life — especially his celebrated career as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, which ended with the Civil War — while fleshing out less well-known episodes, often in the writer’s own words.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061344311, Hardcover)

"Mark Twain was born fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." So begins Sid Fleischman's ramble-scramble biography of the great American author and wit, who started life in a Missouri village as a barefoot boy named Samuel Clemens.

Abandoning a career as a young steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, Sam took a bumpy stagecoach to the Far West. In the gold and silver fields, he expected to get rich quick. Instead, he got poor fast, digging in the wrong places. His stint as a sagebrush newspaperman led to a duel with pistols. Had he not survived, the world would never have heard of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn—or red-headed Mark Twain.

Samuel Clemens adopted his pen name in a hotel room in San Francisco and promptly made a jumping frog (and himself) famous. His celebrated novels followed at a leisurely pace; his quips at jet speed. "Don't let schooling interfere with your education," he wrote.

Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West; an ink-stained rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time. Bountifully illustrated.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:37 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West. A rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time.

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