Introducing The “Tom Sawyer” Project

We have started our own publishing house–Provizo Publishing! In doing so, we have no money, no venture capital, and no real ability to market what we produce. All we have is faith that we are doing the right thing, a small handful of friends, and the readers of this blog.

We need your help. And no, it will not cost you a dime. If you want to be involved, drop us a note using the contact form at the bottom of this post, and we will send you a FREE copy of our first book. All we ask is that you post a review of the book on its Amazon page. (Note that Amazon has already provided a preview of the book, so you don’t even have to wait–you can go there right now and post a review.)

Since we wanted to start with something that we know well, our first project is a series of graded readers for English-language learners, using The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a source.

Most graded readers based on great works resort to large-scale revisions of those works. Instead of preserving the original language of the author, everything is paraphrased. Sections that might prove politically incorrect to modern audiences are removed, and at times new incidents and events are even inserted. The result looks familiar to readers, but often contains nothing of the spirit and life of the original.

We wanted to rectify this problem by preserving as much of the original text as possible, while making it simple enough for a language student to read and enjoy. We did this by using lists of the most common words in English. Difficult and uncommon words were taken out (if possible), while the gist of the text was preserved. Mark Twain used a lot of contractions and alternative spellings to mimic the way his characters talked. For a non-native speaker of English, this makes reading the book a daunting task, as a dictionary is often useless. Therefore, most of these contractions have been spelled out, and more common spellings have been used.

Our first book is Tom Sawyer 700. We have given it this title as it has a base vocabulary of only 700 words. Only a small number of new words are introduced in each chapter. These are limited to common words or words which are necessary for the story. Altogether, 1,275 new words are introduced, giving the book a total vocabulary of less than 2,000 words. From a vocabulary standpoint, this is more than easy enough for many beginners to read, assuming that they have a basic grasp of English grammar. If you want to see how Tom Sawyer 700 relates to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, you can find a direct comparison here. The spirit, contents, and language of the original book have been maintained, but the book has been made much more accessible to non-native speakers. If you wish to order the book, you can find it for Kindle here. At the moment, we do not have a printed version, though we expect to have print-on-demand versions of the book available at some point. In the future, we also plan to have localized versions for Japanese and Chinese language learners with bilingual glossaries and notes, along with versions for other ebook platforms. (Our intermediate version is Tom Sawyer 1500, and our advanced version is Tom Sawyer 3000.)

In time, we plan on publishing all kinds of books, and not just books for language learners–this is only the first  of many steps.

If you would like a free copy of the book Tom Sawyer 700 for review, please drop us a line using the form below, and we will send you a copy by email. (Please specify the format: epub, mobi, or pdf. If you do not specify a format, you will get epub.) All we ask is that you post a review of the book on Amazon after you have finished. You do not need to be a language teacher or a language student to review the book–all reviewers are welcome. And, if you read the book and you honestly think that it is bad, that review is welcome as well.


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