The Prince and the Pauper
This book is mistaken to be merely a child's book. The Prince and the Pauper is a tremendous study about the silliness of the "Divine Right of Kings" and the use of capital punishment. Poor Tom Canty dreamed about meeting a real prince. When his dream comes true, Tom gets more than he ever could have dreamed. Tom becomes the Prince of Wales, in line to the succession to the throne of England! Meanwhile, the real prince, Edward VI, is having a time of it mingling with the common folk of merry England. Edward is befriended by a soldier, who has just returned to England from a foreign prison. Miles however thinks the poor boy is a little touched, yet "plays along" with the mad fellow's delusions. If this book has been read by students when they were in elementary school, they need to reread this book as teenagers. Twain, like Charles Dickens, does not write for the sake of writing, unless there is a social comment that he can make. Read this book with a critical eye.