by Mark Twain | Grades 6-10 | Lexile 1090
Rich with surprise and hilarious adventure, The Prince and the Pauper is a delightful satire of England’s romantic past and a joyful boyhood romp filled with the same tongue-in-cheek irony that sparks the best of Mark Twain’s tall tales. Two boys, one an urchin from London’s filthy lanes, the other a prince born in a lavish palace, unwittingly trade identities. Thus a bedraggled “Prince of Poverty” discovers that his private dreams have all come true—while a pampered Prince of Wales finds himself tossed into a rough-and-tumble world of squalid beggars and villainous thieves.
Originally written as a story for children, The Prince and the Pauper is a classic novel for adults as well—through its stinging attack on the ageless human folly of attempting to measure true worth by outer appearances.