The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by Jessica Lawson is a re-imagining of events surrounding Mark Twain's classic story, but from a different perspective.
her brother died, Becky's father, Judge Thatcher, decided that the
family needed a new start in St. Petersburg, Missouri. The problem is,
Becky's mother is still holding on to her grief, leaving Becky mostly to
her own devices -- and Becky's response is to become to most audacious
little scamp ever to roam the banks of the mighty Mississippi! From
throwing spitballs to sneaking into a witch's house to tracking down
wanted criminals, there's nothing Becky will stop at -- even when it
puts her in considerable danger.
I think young readers will have a lot of fun with this book, and those who have read Tom Sawyer
will appreciate the clever way that this book comes together, as
Becky's exploits amuse and inspire a stranded riverboat captain by the
name of Sam Clemens. For myself, I'm afraid I found Becky hard to like,
as her hijinks often seemed a little hard-hearted. There's no denying
the humor of the book, nor that it touches on deeper issues of grief and
family, so I would recommend this book, especially to readers who don't
mind reading about a character who is not always likable.
(Reviewed from an advance copy, courtesy of the publisher.)