My kids are a little younger than Chabon's, and I admire his guts in tackling Huck Finn with them far sooner than I'd plan to do it with mine. On the one hand, I think it's an outrage if that Auburn version of Huck Finn is published as anything other than an adaptation of Huck Finn. On the other hand, if I found myself reading it to my young kids, I'd be yanking the offensive word out at every occurrence. I've done it plenty with other books. The original 1920s Nancy Drews are a blast—lots more action, lots more edge—but when I read one of them to my kids, I had to dodge and weave around all sorts of outdated stereotyping and some stuff that seems downright nasty to us today. In The Cricket in Times Square, the way the language of the loveable Chinese shopkeeper is rendered is enough to make any modern reader cringe (lots of "so solly" stuff).
Both of these lesser works of literature are thoroughly charming in almost all their other aspects. But in those parts, they simply are what they are. And any effort to amend, recast, or whatever makes them into something they are not. So why am I changing them for my kids? Because I'm their parent—one of two people who know them best of all, know what they can get their heads around and what should wait awhile. If they want to take the book off the shelf and ask me why I read something different from what's on the page, we can have that conversation. (I did get busted once with Nancy Drew when my daughter read ahead.) But that's between my children and me. At least the book as written is sitting there on the shelf being, for better or worse, what it's always been.