My Blog

On Your Mark, Get Set, Alabama Big Read!

Alabama readers will dive into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer after the kickoff of the Big Read program held yesterday, February 2, on the steps of the State House in Montgomery, Alabama. Lt. Governor Jim Folsom began the initiative by reading the first page of Mark Twain’s classic novel, surrounded by legislative representatives and librarians. Sponsored by the state libraries of Alabama, the event inaugurated Alabama’s first ever Big Read program, highlighted by the publication of a special edition of Tom Sawyer produced by NewSouth Books.

Alabama Big Read kickoff
Dr. Alan Gribben with the Tom Sawyer display at the Alabama Big Read kickoff.

Kickoff participants included Rebecca Mitchell, State Librarian; Mark Dixon, Deputy Policy Director; Rep. Greg Canfield; Dr. Alan Gribben, Twain scholar and author of the foreword to the special Alabama Big Read edition of Tom Sawyer, Randall Williams, NewSouth Books co-founder and editor-in-chief, and Brian Seidman, NewSouth Books managing editor.

Seidman described the kickoff event as “a nice way to get all the librarians and participants excited about this endeavor. It really showed the support of the Alabama legislature behind the Big Read. What a great start!”

In a bit of serendipity, a group of Scouts was visiting the State Capitol at the time of the kickoff, and several asked Dr. Gribben to sign copies of his introduction to Tom Sawyer.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is Mark Twain’s enduring paean to the joys of childhood in a small town prior to the Civil War. In this novel Twain discovered the literary potential of his early days in Hannibal and created a pair of young characters, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who would earn him lasting fame. NewSouth Books is especially pleased to have been selected to produce the unique Alabama edition.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.