This book, more than many other books I can remember (perhaps The Mad Scientists' Club by Brinley?), can make me feel boyish. This book makes me want to go fishing, go float the Buffalo River and pretend to be a pirate, to dig for bury treasure, and to pester my wife as much as I can because she's a girl and thinks I'm a tad bit silly sometimes.
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who has an adventurous spirit (whether they be boyish or not!), but note that there is some ugly language (in terms of slurs) that some young readers might need to be guided through. I don't think the book should be avoided however, and, in fact, I think it desperately needs to be read and discussed. Can beautiful works of art also contain ugly things? Can characters we enjoy reading about sometimes be hurtful? Absolutely.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, despite some signs clearly showing its age, is one of the best adventure stories I've ever read. I can't believe I managed to avoid it as a kid. I would have loved it.