The Big Read

What is the Big Read?

The Big Read: Alabama Reads The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is a statewide campaign designed to increase literacy and library usage in Alabama by encouraging citizens of all ages to read, or re-read, Mark Twain's classic novel. There will be state and regional events for everyone to attend; they include kick-off events, family events, panel discussions, ghost walks, lectures, public readings, movie screenings, book discussions, and other programs not just about the novel itself, but the author and the time it was written.

The book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is not merely a literary classic. It is part of the American imagination. More than any other work in our culture it established America's vision of childhood. Mark Twain created two fictional boys, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who still seem more real than most of the people we know. In a still puritanical nation, Twain reminded adults that children were not angels, but fellow human beings, and perhaps all the more lovable for their imperfections and bad grooming. Neither American literature nor America has ever been the same.

Find a copy to read

Ready to get started? Check the catalog for copies of Tom Sawyer - if you've got your library card number and PIN, you can place a hold on a copy and pick it up at a branch near you!

Calendar of events

Visit to see our list of Big Read events in handy calendar format, or see our event listing on A printable version of our full Big Read brochure, including descriptions of all events, is available in PDF format.

More about the book has several helpful guides, including: