> Happy August, everyone!
> I pose a question to the Forum members as to how many of its teachers use this book in teaching Twain to their students? I just read it and it will prove quite valuable to use.
> Mark Twain saw human nature in all its glory and sadness. Therefore, teaching about him effectively can appear daunting. But Kent Rasmussen allays educational concerns by showing how to write an effective essay common sensibly based on the requirement of close textual analysis. His purpose of writing with the showing of the proper integration of citations and source documentation is to result in interpreting the text effectively and enhance the reader's understanding and enjoyment of the work. While neither suggesting that his paper topics are absolute and have ready answers, they are intriguingly interesting and challenging in requiring proof from the text itself, or through the generous secondary sources he gives; and it is great to recognize that so many of the secondary sources have been created by Forum authors over the years. He provides fine background and essay topics and research strategies in terms of themes, characters, historical context, philosophy and ideas. His work covers The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Pudd'nhead Wilson, The Jumping Frog Story, "The Man That Corruped Hadleyburg, "The War Prayer," Roughing It, and Life on the Mississippi. This book is an excellent tool for teachers and students in appreciating Mr. Twain and his works!
> John Pascal, M.B.A., M.A.
> Teacher of 9th & 11 Grade English
> Seton Hall Preparatory School
> West Orange, NJ 07052