|The Big Read is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.|
|"Jackson's Island" in the Mississippi River is where the boys ran off to play pirates.|
|The Mark Twain Cave is still open to the public, and if you're|
lucky you'll see the occasional local resident like this little fellow.
|Sam Clemens's childhood friend, Laura Hawkins, lived in this house,|
which is right across the street from his. She became the model for
Becky Thatcher. The Museum is accepting donations to finish the
restoration of this house and reopen it to the public in 2012 as a
children's museum that tells the story of childhood in mid-1800s Hannibal.
|"Injun Joe" was loosely based on Joe Douglass, a Hannibal resident|
whose physical characteristics frightened the local children.
|In Hannibal today you will still encounter "Tom Sawyer"|
and "Becky Thatcher" strolling the streets.
|Grab a brush and help whitewash the famous fence!|
My Big Read adventures have taken me from to Carmel, California to Enterprise, Oregon to Ashland, Kentucky and beyond, and I look forward to visiting more communities and telling folks about the true stories behind Twain's fiction. Listening to the songs and stories on Mark Twain: Words & Music is a great way to learn about Twain's life, and the virtual tours give a glimpse into our historical town, but the best way to experience the boyhood adventures of Sam Clemens is to visit Hannibal.
Don't wait too long!