Who Was Mark Twain? He was an author, adventurer, tall-tale maker and the subject of this book by April Jones Prince. There are several different people in the Who Was/Who Is series. I read Mark Twain and Who Was Joan of Arc by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso last night. While each has its own author(s) each are illustrated by a different artist (John O’Brien and Andrew Thomson respectively).
They are a non-fiction story about their subject. You can have everyone from Joan of Arc to Walt Disney, Claude Monet, Annie Oakley, Barack Obama, The Williams Sisters and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. All areas are covered from art to science to politics to sports. The fact the series reads as a novel helps things move along. I, personally would have liked to have seen more facts, but what they do give makes this for an introduction of their person or subject. Not only does this series deal with people, but there is a What Is/What Was series as well that includes the Titanic, The Twin Towers and The Holocaust. As well as a Where Is series that covers places like Disney, our Solar System and The Bermuda Triangle.
Everything is tastefully done. After all Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. And I was not uncomfortable reading about it. They mention her wearing men’s clothing, but not what happened when her clothing at one point was stolen. They do not dwell on the deaths of Twain’s children or the less than ideal areas of his personality. It is a pleasant story about beloved people of history.
Is this realistic and the “full” story? No, but for the ages eight to 10 it is good. There is a selected timeline in the back that is mirrored by a historical timeline on a separate page.