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• Book Description • Known best by his pen name, American novelist and humorist Mark Twain (1835–1910) grew up as Samuel L. Clemens in the tiny town of Hannibal, Missouri. His home on the Mississippi River inspired his classic novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which showcase and skewer the American South through coming-of-age stories that challenge cultural norms. Twain’s own life was filled with adventures—he joined the Confederate Army, prospected for gold, and piloted a steamboat on the Mississippi before becoming a reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. There, he honed the colorful, witty storytelling style that would make him one of America’s most beloved authors. A short story about mining camp life—“Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”—gave Twain his first big break. He went on to write The Innocents Abroad, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.


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