I am so, so thrilled to celebrate the publication of an absolutely incredible middle-grade book, which just so happens to be written by my good friend and critique partner Jessica Lawson (I interviewed her for the Colorado is for Writers series here). The Actual and Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher is her magnificent debut, and trust me when I say that you want this hilarious, heartwarming, clever, and creative book on your shelf this instant.
Becky Thatcher has her side of the story to tell—and it’s a whopper—in this creative spin on Mark Twain’s beloved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, complete with illustrations.
Tom Sawyer’s and Huckleberry Finn’s adventures are legendary, but what about the story you haven’t heard? In 1860, eleven-year-old Becky Thatcher is the new girl in town, determined to have adventures like she promised her brother Jon before he died. With her Mama frozen in grief and her Daddy busy as town judge, Becky spends much of her time on her own, getting into mischief. Before long, she joins the boys at school in a bet to steal from the Widow Douglas, and Becky convinces her new best friend, Amy Lawrence, to join her.
But the theft doesn’t go as planned, and Widow Douglas ends up being unfairly accused of grave robbing as a result. So Becky concocts a plan to clear the Widow’s name. If she pulls it off, she might just get her Mama to notice her again, as well as fulfill her promise to Jon in a most unexpected way. That is, if that tattletale Tom Sawyer will quit following her around.
One of the (many, many) wonderful things about this book is that it works whether you are a fan of the original Tom Sawyer story or not. I’ve actually never read it (mea culpa!), but I adored Jessica’s interpretation just the same.
And you don’t just have to take my word for it that this book is fantastic–check out this starred review from Publishers Weekly!
So please join me in wishing Becky a happy book birthday, since the book is published today! It’s available on its own, or in this nifty boxed set that includes Twain’s original Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
Of course, I’d love for everyone to rush out right now and buy a copy to support Jessica’s debut. But I’m also going to give a copy away to one lucky commenter! Feel free to let us know what classic piece of literature you’d like to rewrite from another character’s perspective. And I’ll give you bonus entries if you Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway and paste the URL into your comment!
Sample FB: Jessica Lawson’s fantastic Tom Sawyer retelling, THE ACTUAL & TRUTHFUL ADVENTURES OF BECKY THATCHER, is published today! Win a copy here: http://wp.me/p1VIEB-I4
Thanks, and good luck! I’ll select a winner this Friday, July 4.