What makes reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer important for a teenager?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I might be a bit biased on this one, so bear with me.  I think that the lesson of loyalty to one's friends is a vitally important lesson for teens. Too often, I think that adolescence is associated with a very fluid approach to friendships.  While this is valid, I think that there are times when it is taken too far in that loyalty is forgotten under the guise of "fluidity."  Consciously or not, I think that teens can gain much from reading the story of Tom Sawyer and his loyalty to Huck and the idea of friendship.  Loyalty is something that seems to have been misplaced.  Part of this is that the modern setting has transformed teen friendship.  There is little evidence of texting, tweets, or social networking in the adventures of Tom, Joe, and Huck.  Granted, the boys find their share of mischief, but the concept of promising to look out for one another and refuse to sell one another out for convenience is a lesson that can be learned in any and every generation.  Modern teens are no exception.