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The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  94 reviews
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 convinc ...more
Hardcover, 215 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Simon&Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Onni This book is awesome! So clever and funny! The audiobook is incredibly well read and the book gives a cool girl power twist the the common Anerican…moreThis book is awesome! So clever and funny! The audiobook is incredibly well read and the book gives a cool girl power twist the the common Anerican classic 'Tom Sawyer'!(less)

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3.77  · 
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 ·  281 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I kept my eyes down and picked at the scab on my knee, afraid to look up at her.
Gently, she cupped my chin in her hand and tilted my head up to meet hers. "You leave that scab alone, you hear me? Keep picking and picking at something like that, making it bleed over and over, and your whole leg will be ruined. Knees and hearts take enough bruising from life as it is. They ain't meant to be beat up by your own self."

-Miss Ada

To be truthful, I was very hesitant going into this book. It is very
Pop Bop
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Rollicking Tale; the Tom Sawyer Angle Is A Bonus

So, there seem to be two ways to go with popular public domain book characters. You can try to recreate them and produce authentic continuations of their stories. Or, you can start with their general features and then improvise your way to new interpretations.

The first path is the harder of the two because you have to get voice, plot, narrative style and a zillion tiny details just right. The best example of this that I've seen recently is the "
Isaiah Campbell
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ask me to list my top five authors, and any day of the week the names will generally change. Except for one. Mark Twain.

Probably the most influential book I ever read as a kid was The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, followed by The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and then (because I believe in reading thoroughly, doggone it) Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective.

So when I heard that there was going to be a book from the yet-untold-perspective of Becky Thatcher, I hopped on that like a frog from
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher via Edelweiss.

I haven’t read ten words of a Mark Twain novel in my life, but like a lot of other Americans, I know a good bit about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn thanks to them being considered classics. More than a few people get the reference of Tom tricking other people to paint the white fence for him when it comes up in pop culture. A reimagining of these characters wi
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have to admire Jessica Lawson's ingenuity. As both a fanfic author and reader, I can more than respect a well thought-out "what-if" scenario. So, the switch in the personalities of Sid and Tom, along with the inclusion of Sam Clemens would have been more than enough to draw me in as a potential reader. Add in the fact that Becky Thatcher is actually the mischievous protagonist in this one, with Tom and Sid as side-characters, and you have me hooked like a large-mouth bass! Even with all of tha ...more
Ms. Yingling
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Becky and her family have moved to St. Petersburg, Missouri, to start over following the death of her brother Jon from an undetermined wasting disease. Her father, a judge, is very concerned with the Pritchard brothers, criminals who are terrorizing their area, but also worries that Becky is getting into all sorts of trouble. And she is. Having made a pact with her brother, she is determined to have all of the adventures that Jon can't have, and wears his clothes in order to feel close to him. S ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014reviews
I was surprised by how much I LOVED The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. I think the timing was just right for me to love it.

Becky Thatcher is new in town. Her father is a judge. Her mother is a mess. To be fair, her mother is grieving the loss of her son, Jon. Becky and her father miss him too, of course. But. Her mother is deeply stuck in a very dark and melancholy place. Becky has her own way of dealing with her loss. For one, she likes to put on her brother's clothes, tak
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book instead of reading it, which I highly recommend. The reader, Tavia Gilbert, could not have done a better job at capturing the spirit of lively and imaginative Becky Thatcher, as well as the core of the many other characters in this book.

Which is a wonderful reimagining of how Samuel Clements came to write Tom Sawyer in the first place. Becky, new to the town, with a mother unattentive due to her grief from the death of Becky's older brother, and a father very busy as the
This book started out slow for me but once I was hooked, she had me! I love the alternative tale and perspective of Becky & Tom. This book also deftly handles the topic of grief which I didn't expect but do appreciate.
Robert Kent
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First Paragraph(s): My left leg twitched at the tickle of another night-boy. Hidden by the wide trunk of a river sycamore, I shifted in my crouch and reached a hand inside Jon’s overalls to trap and smack the creeping skitter. Darn things had been a considerable nuisance since I settled myself along the Mississippi to have a look-see at the grounded steamboat and its crew.
The men had piled onshore and hauled sitting logs from the brush while I played at them being pirates and me being a stowawa
Rosita Alfieri
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Appena trasferitasi in una nuova cittadina a ridosso del fiume Mississippi, la giovane Becky sogna di vivere una grande avventura in onore del fratello venuto a mancare l'estate prima. E quale migliore avventura che rubare dalla casa di una vedova che tutti i ragazzi della città sono convinti essere una strega? L'unica cosa che gli manca per affrontare questa impresa è la terra presa dalla tomba di un uomo, in un cimitero durante la mezzanotte. Ma quello che Becky e la sua amica Amy vedranno que ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
I grew up reading Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn repeatedly, nearly on a loop. They were among a handful of very favorite books that I never grew tired of. To this day, I have a huge fondness for them. Every time I find a book that's based on them, or some kind of spin-off, I cringe, but proceed cautiously. I have to say, this is the first time I've really enjoyed such a book. I loved that it utilized the same characters, and kept the feel of the story very similar to the originals, but was also a com ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jessica Lawson's writing is so good. It pulls you in the story and you are right there next to the characters, which means you totally forget you're reading/listening to a story.

Becky's voice is loud, bold and full of mischief. Becky lives life as if there is no tomorrow and takes you on wilds and sometimes downright dangerous adventures.

I also love how at the chore this is also a story about family and dealing with the passing of a very much loved one. I didn't want the story to end and kind of
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: hf-girls, hf-all
A fun adventure told from another feisty, spunky, adventure-loving girl. Lawson imagines that perhaps Mark Twain (aka Sam Clemens) really was writing about the adventures and escapades of Becky Thatcher, not snot-nosed, tattle-tale, goodie-two-shoes Tom Sawyer.

A funny alternate-"history" based on characters we recognize, but not a story we do. Becky Thatcher is determined to live up to the promise she made to her brother Jon before he died - to have the adventures he no longer can - and to get
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a cute story about Becky Thatcher from Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer. It takes place before the tales of Tom Sawyer and tells the tale of how Becky came to know Tom and all her adventures prior to being his friend. Prone to mischief and adventure, Becky's story is delightful. I particularly enjoyed the tying of some events and characters from the original novel, including an appearance by Samuel Clemens.
If you are looking for a good story for middle grades, this fits the bill.
Dana Gisser
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a cute retelling and I enjoyed many aspects of this book, especially Samuel Clemens being involved in this story and the "switch" of Tom and Sid.
I have always loved Huck Finn a little more than Tom Sawyer so I found myself wondering when he would show up but then had some mixed feelings when he finally "did". I loved the Widow Douglas in this book as well.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun twist with the character, Tom Sawyer. While it was entertaining, the ending was somewhat obvious.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I loved the concept, and while its not executed perfectly, it's close enough. I still can't wrap my head around that whole (view spoiler) personality thing.. but I whole-heartedly recommend this book for Twain fans... and well, humans in general.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked a lot of moments in The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. The author's decision to portray Becky Thatcher (the classic character from Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer) as a bold and daring spitfire of a young girl in 19th Century America is perfect. Becky's character is well-defined and three-dimensional in thought and feeling.

In Twain's classic she is a secondary figure--primarily a nuisance--to Tom Sawyer. She truly comes into her own in Lawson's re-imagining. B
Becky Ginther
I enjoyed reading Tom Sawyer when I was younger and as a fellow Becky I've always been partial to Becky Thatcher, so I was definitely interested in reading this book. It takes the characters from Tom Sawyer that you know but twists things around - kind of like those twisted fairy tale books that are really popular, but a twisted classic.

In this version Becky is the mischievous troublemaker who loves going out on adventures, and Tom Sawyer is the goody two-shoes who always tattles on her. Sam Cle
BAYA Librarian
What if it was really a tomboyish Becky Thatcher – and not Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn – who actually had all the adventures? Lawson brings Becky, new “bosom” friend (not rival) of Amy Lawrence, to a Mississippi town a year after her brother Jon dies and just as writer and boat captain Samuel Clemens swings in. She guides Amy in the fine craft of waking up late, stalking the town “witch” to win a bet against some boys, and carefully avoiding (or escaping) the thieving Pritchard brothers.

I lik
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Becky Thatcher is a cherry spittin', overall wearing, bold young girl who is as superstitious as she is a darn good friend. She throws spitballs at Tom Sawyer for being a goody-goody, and sneaks out of her house in the dead of night to meet the notorious Old Widow "witch" of the neighborhood. Known for her mischief, Becky has a promise to keep to her deceased brother Huckleberry: to go on wild adventures with his marbles in her pocket. But what happens when Becky's adventures meet the Pritchard ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Becky Thatcher has just moved to St. Petersburg, MO. The family is grieving the death of her brother Jon. Mrs. Thatcher has withdrawn almost completely from her family and Judge Thatcher has thrown himself into work. Becky is determined to honor her promise to Jon and have as many adventures as possible. She becomes friends with Amy Lawrence and Sid Sawyer almost immediately. She also makes an enemy of Tom Sawyer when he tattles on her and gets her in trouble. Becky takes part in a bet the boys ...more
Laura Schmigel
Jan 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Audio book. Becky's adventures are enjoyable for any fan of Mark Twain's tales of children growing up in and around the imaginary St. Petersburg, Missouri. Many of the children are quite different from Twain's characters, often swapping personalities. I waited long for the appearance of Huckleberry Finn and was satisfied with the results. Becky's family has moved to town in an attempt to leave behind the pain of her older brother Jon's death. Several of the characters deal quite honestly with si ...more
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Things I Liked:
I thought this was a really fun way to retell Tom Sawyer. Lawson has kind of flipped the story on its head and imagined what it might be like to have Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) seeing real people and writing them into a story, but getting things all muddled up. I love how Tom and Sid are pretty well switched up. Even though this kind of bothered me at first, it was fairly humorous. Also, I loved Becky. She was a handful and her adventures, as a girl in that time, were so great. S
Some of you might know who Tom Sawyer is. If you don't, you might at least recognize the name. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a story about a young boy in St. Petersburg, Missouri, was written in 1876 by former steamboat pilot, Mark Twain. The author of this story, Jessica Lawson, takes the setting and characters from the original story and creates her own version of events. This is most often called 'fan fiction,' and it's something you can do with your favorite stories too! Especially if it's a ...more
We Are All Mad Here
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grades
Cute book, excellent idea, well executed.

"If I stay out any longer, people might start thinking I fell in the river and drowned. Miss Ada would be awful sad at my funeral. Come to think of it, not too many people get to see their own funeral. Might be worth an extra couple of days."

His eyes twinkle. "Isn't that an idea? Visiting your own funeral." He took out his notebook and jotted something down.

An imagined precursor to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Simon & Schuster shared this ARC with me, I could hardly wait to get started...and it didn't disappoint! It was a delight - from the attractive and befitting cover to the hint of future risks and investigations on the last page!
Becky Thatcher is the mischievous and spunky daughter of the newly appointed judge in St. Petersburg, MO, a town situated along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The year is 1860. Three days after arriving in town, Becky meets Sid Sawyer, Tom Sawyer’s half-
LCL Children'S
Sep 16, 2015 rated it liked it
After 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 h ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I chose to read this book because it's on the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher booklist for the 2015-2016 school year. As I often do, I got an audio version so I could listen to it while driving back and forth to school. I wanted to like this book, and usually the audios hold my attention, but unfortunately, this one did not. I got annoyed by the heavy southern accent of the reader, which often times reminded me of Dolly Parton in 9 to 5, but beyond that, I felt like this was just one more "fract ...more
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Book Recommendation 1 1 Dec 08, 2016 03:58PM  
Audiobooks: Who wants a free Becky Thatcher audiobook? 3 27 Jul 29, 2014 02:52PM  

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Jessica Lawson enjoys living in Pennsylvania, where she and her family spend weekend hours exploring backroads and discovering old stone houses to drool over. She likes pizza. A lot. Her middle grade books are published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

She fell in love with storytelling at an early age, and is a sucker for Roald Dahl, RL LaFevers, Charles Dickens, Barbara Park, Amy
“Then again, having people around was no guarantee that they'd make good company.” 3 likes
“I heard that misery loves company, but I suspected it would get along with pie, too.” 2 likes
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