By Mike CrisolagoBy Mike Crisolago
By Robert Louis Stevenson
"The bar silver and the arms still lie, for all that I know, where Flint buried them; and certainly they shall lie there for me. Oxen and wain-ropes would not bring me back again to that accursed island; and the worst dreams that ever I have are when I hear the surf booming about its coasts, or start upright in bed, with the sharp voice of Captain Flint still ringing in my ears: “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!'" - from Treasure Island
What's it about?: This is the legendary tale of pirates and buried treasure. The story is told by Jim Hawkins, a young man helping to run his father's inn. When Hawkins flees the inn at the onset of a pirate attack, he takes with him a package and key from a recently deceased resident who also happened to be an old pirate. As it turns out, the package contains a map of Captain John Flint's treasure island. Hawkins, his friend Squire Trelawney and the revered Dr. Livesey set sail with a band of old seamen led by the one-legged Long John Silver in search of the captain's riches. However, before reaching the island, the rag-tag seamen attempt to overthrow the others so they can take the treasure for themselves. Upon finally reaching land, Hawkins meets Ben Gunn — a sailor who was stranded on the island years earlier by Captain Flint — and what results is a battle between Hawkins and friends and the seamen in a race to find the captain's treasure. And while Long John Silver joins Hawkins' cause, by the end of the story the mystery surrounding the iconic pirate only deepens.
Why your child should read it: Treasure Island is the standard for pirate treasure books. Aside from being R.L. Stevenson's best-known work, it also contains the legendary Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins. Beginning with the infamous "Yo ho, ho and a bottle of rum!" tune, and continuing on with the characters (especially Silver) and motifs throughout the story, this book set the standard for all future swashbuckling treasure hunt stories. Not only is it a classic that has been read enthusiastically for generations, but its compelling tale of pirates and the hunt for gold is sure to captive any young reader to keep turning the pages.
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