A pedagogical essay reflecting on forty years of teaching Huckleberry Finn at both the high school and college level, recounting the author’s first experience teaching the novel, the expansion of the canon and the way that puts the novel in a broader context, and the importance of performing the dialect speech of various characters, modeling for students the way to read the novel for themselves. Even in perilous times for teaching controversial texts, the author suggests ways to teach Mark Twain’s masterpiece sensitively and effectively.

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