Children and Uncle Tom’s Cabin

14 Jun

At our wrap-up discussion, Jeannette brought up the topic of children’s versions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  For previous novels I have delighted in scouring my library’s database for abridged and annotated children’s copies of our current book.  Jeannette said that she had seen children’s books adapted from Stowe’s classic: some versions focus on one part of the novel such as Topsy.  I promised myself that I would do some research now that summer is here.

I have found nothing.  Countless editions of the unabridged book but nothing specifically written for children.

I searched the Great Illustrated Classics: sixty-six books including such WEM titles as The Red Badge of Courage, Jane Eyre, and Moby-Dick, but no Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  There are over forty titles in the Classic Starts series but still no UTC.

My local library has a couple of children’s biographies about Stowe but nothing else.

Why?  In our wrap-up we discussed the writer’s style.  Stowe the abolitionist wanted to make sure that everyone who read her book understood everything she was saying.  While it took me a bit to “get into” reading the slave dialect, I relied very little on my kindle’s dictionary feature.  My children would be able to handle the vocabulary.

Why am I not finding this classic for children?

Is it the content?  Truthfully, I’ve debated about whether or not I should encourage my children to share in my classical experience; especially as we start Madame Bovary.  Book about adultery?  ummm not sure I want that on their summer reading list.  But a book about slavery?  I can’t imagine Mrs. Beecher Stowe shielded her children from this topic.

Help me out, blog friends.
Have you seen versions of Stowe’s book geared for children?


Posted by on June 14, 2012 in Uncle Tom's Cabin


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4 responses to “Children and Uncle Tom’s Cabin

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    June 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Come to think of it, no I haven’t seen a children’s version. I’ll keep my eyes peeled though.

  2. Gilbert N Ruth Lopez

    June 15, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Several years ago, I also looked for a version for my fourth grader. I could find nothing. Not a picture book or an abridged version anywhere! Maybe it is just too deep and heavy a subject matter to water down. Nonetheless, I was expecting to find something; but nothing!

    • Christine

      June 15, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      I think Jeannette has a source that she’s going to share with us at some point.

  3. Jeannette

    June 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    This is where I found some information that I thought was very interesting. It’s a great site for all things “Uncle Tom,” but they do have some specific information on children’s versions that you can find if you “enter” the site and go to “browse mode” then click on children’s versions.


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