I finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer loving is just as much as I always have. It is hard to say anything negative about a book the captures the spirit of childhood and adventure so well.
Sure, it might not stand up to Dostoevsky or Austen in regards to real human emotion, but I love it anyway. It is not meant to be a novel read for depth, but for enjoyment. It is the kind of book meant to be read at night when you're tucking in your children, or to give a child for Christmas so they can get lost in childhood fun.
Tom is the prime example of youth so how can that be a bad thing?
As it says in the conclusion;
"So endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here; the story could not go on much further without becoming the history of a man. When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop-that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can," (227-228).
And while I have read this at different stages of my life-youth and adulthood, I still love it just as much, if not a little more. Perhaps it is because Tom reminds the reader of childhood, and how the biggest adult issues still seems to be just fun to a child. Or how children can always surprise you (by running away for a few days then popping up at their own funeral).
But, it is just a novel about American youth and vitality and how, if you try really hard, good things can come your way. It definitely is a far cry from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which I am less familiar with, but special in its own way.