A Reader posted a review at 2008-11-20 01:48:48.
I read this after the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and was disappointed. Sawyer is definitely a children's book, while this examines much more adult themes, and not in an entertaining children's style.
The theme - as I remember from when I was 12 - is that people can get along regardless of race. (Or is that family is whomever you make a part of your family?)
The high jinks throughout the story built up Huck's and Jim's time together, and the building of "family". Despite their age difference they wind up having a very close and respectful relationship.
This contrasts with the start of the book where Huck's "real" family - his father - is uncaringly using Huck, while "the widder" is concernedly overly protective. Both parent figures result in dysfunctional situations.