2. ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ by Mark Twain
Through faking his own death, young Huckleberry Finn narrowly avoids being swindled by his father or civilized by his town. However, the journey has just begun for Huck as he floats downriver with Jim, a runaway slave. Twain’s novel is not merely a romanticized ride down the Mississippi River, but rather a powerful punch to the human conscience. By exposing ugliness in the antebellum South, the novel criticizes human brutality and moral ignorance.