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?