Cover image for Treasure island
Title:
Treasure island
Author:
Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
51 pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm.
Summary:
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate's fortune.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.6 2.0 71211.
ISBN:
9780689854682
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Jim Hawkins has led an ordinary life as an innkeeper's son until the day he inadvertently discovers a treasure map in a trunk belonging to an old sea captain, and thus, suddenly, his ordinary life turns into the extraordinary adventure of a lifetime. Jim and his companions decide to follow the map to the coast of South America to find their fortune, but their plans run awry when they discover that the ship's crew is comprised primarily of pirates -- out to claim the treasure as their own! If he ever wants to return home, Jim must outsmart Long John Silver and his gang, using all the cunning he can muster to come up with a plan to defeat the pirates, and to find the treasure in this swashbuckling tale that has thrilled readers for more than one hundred years.
Carefully abridged for younger readers, this third addition to the Scribner Storybook Classic line, with striking illustrations by N. C. Wyeth, revitalizes Robert Louis Stevenson's acclaimed tale of adventure, danger, and suspense.


Author Notes

Novelist, poet, and essayist Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. A sickly child, Stevenson was an invalid for part of his childhood and remained in ill health throughout his life. He began studying engineering at Edinburgh University but soon switched to law. His true inclination, however, was for writing. For several years after completing his studies, Stevenson traveled on the Continent, gathering ideas for his writing. His Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey (1878) describe some of his experiences there. A variety of essays and short stories followed, most of which were published in magazines. It was with the publication of Treasure Island in 1883, however, that Stevenson achieved wide recognition and fame. This was followed by his most successful adventure story, Kidnapped, which appeared in 1886.

With stories such as Treasure Island and Kidnapped, Stevenson revived Daniel Defoe's novel of romantic adventure, adding to it psychological analysis. While these stories and others, such as David Balfour and The Master of Ballantrae (1889), are stories of adventure, they are at the same time fine studies of character. The Master of Ballantrae, in particular, is a study of evil character, and this study is taken even further in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).

In 1887 Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, went to the United States, first to the health spas of Saranac Lake, New York, and then on to the West Coast. From there they set out for the South Seas in 1889. Except for one trip to Sidney, Australia, Stevenson spent the remainder of his life on the island of Samoa with his devoted wife and stepson. While there he wrote The Wrecker (1892), Island Nights Entertainments (1893), and Catriona (1893), a sequel to Kidnapped. He also worked on St. Ives and The Weir of Hermiston, which many consider to be his masterpiece. He died suddenly of apoplexy, leaving both of these works unfinished. Both were published posthumously; St. Ives was completed by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and The Weir of Hermiston was published unfinished. Stevenson was buried on Samoa, an island he had come to love very much.

Although Stevenson's novels are perhaps more accomplished, his short stories are also vivid and memorable. All show his power of invention, his command of the macabre and the eerie, and the psychological depth of his characterization.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

One forgets how much modern tales of swashbuckling owe to Robert Louis Stevenson's classic. MacDonald's retelling, an entry in Barron's Graphic Classics series, has all the important elements: the daring young apprentice, the tricky old seadog, the ruthless band of pirates, and, of course, buried treasure. Unfortunately, the pages are a bit too tightly packed, and each panel is overcaptioned with dry prose, which dilutes the tale's excitement and spectacle. The full-color art is highly detailed and realistically gritty, and the power of the narrative is impossible to suppress. A way into a classic for reluctant readers, this book, suggested for larger collections, is also a good reminder of what a rousing pirate yarn is all about. Footnotes on seagoing terms, background on the story and on Stevenson himself, and notes on pirates in the movies round out the book. Other adaptations in the series include Oliver Twist and Moby Dick. --Jesse Karp Copyright 2007 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

The Scribner Storybook Classic line adds Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, abridged by Timothy Meis, with vintage illustrations by N.C. Wyeth. Young Jim Hawkins finds a treasure map and follows it to South America, only to wind up in the hands of the notorious pirate Long John Silver. Climactic scenes of aggressive mutineers or the hero's valiant attempt to keep the evil Mr. Hands at bay come alive in Wyeth's atmospheric oil paintings. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-While this abridgement of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic captures most of the key details and action of the story, it feels choppy at times and listeners don't feel as emotionally attached to the vibrant characters. The female reader speaks clearly, but her high, pleasant voice doesn't always correspond to the rough and tumble action of the story and the predominantly male cast of characters. While she varies her pitch and pacing, individual characters are not given uniquely identifiable voices, making it difficult for listeners to become wholly invested in the telling. The paperback book has a nice font size for following along as well as plenty of white space and scattered black-and-white illustrations. Although the audio presentation is not stellar, those who need an accessible version of the story for younger children can make use of this audiobook.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Public Library, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

1 The Old Sea-Dog at the "Admiral Benbow" Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17--, and go back to the time when my father kept the "Admiral Benbow" inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sabre cut, first took up his lodging under our roof. I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a handbarrow; a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man; his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails; and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white. I remember him looking round the cove and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards: "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on the taste, and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our signboard. "This is a handy cove," says he, at length; "and a pleasant sittyated grog-shop. Much company, mate?" My father told him no, very little company, the more was the pity. "Well then," said he, "this is the berth for me. Here you, matey," he cried to the man who trundled the barrow; "bring up alongside and help up my chest. I'll stay here a bit," he continued. "I'm a plain man; rum and bacon and eggs is what I want, and that head up there for to watch ships off. What you mought call me? You mought call me captain. Oh, I see what you're at--there"; and he threw down three or four gold pieces on the threshold. "You can tell me when I've worked through that," says he, looking as fierce as a commander. And, indeed, bad as his clothes were, and coarsely as he spoke, he had none of the appearance of a man who sailed before the mast; but seemed like a mate or skipper, accustomed to be obeyed or to strike. The man who came with the barrow told us the mail had set him down the morning before at the "Royal George"; that he had inquired what inns there were along the coast, and hearing ours well spoken of, I suppose, and described as lonely, had chosen it from the others for his place of residence. And that was all we could learn of our guest. He was a very silent man by custom. All day he hung around the cove, or upon the cliffs, with a brass telescope; all evening he sat in a corner of the parlor next the fire, and drank rum and water very strong. Mostly he would not speak when spoken to; only look up sudden and fierce, and blow through his nose like a fog-horn; and we and the people who came about our house soon learned to let him be. Every day, when he came back from his stroll, he would ask if any seafaring men had gone by along the road. At first we thought it was the want of company of his own kind that made him ask this question; but at last we began to see he was desirous to avoid them. When a seaman put up at the "Admiral Benbow" (as now and then some did, making by the coast road for Bristol), he would look in at him through the curtained door before he entered the parlor; and he was always sure to be as silent as a mouse when any such was present. For me, at least, there was no secret about the matter; for I was, in a way, a sharer in his alarms. He had taken me aside one day, and promised me a silver fourpenny on the first of every month if I would only keep my "weathereye open for a seafaring man with one leg," and let him know the moment he appeared. Often enough, when the first of the month came round, and I applied to him for my wage, he would only blow through his nose at me, and stare me down; but before the week was out he was sure to think better of it, bring me my fourpenny piece, and repeat his orders to look out for "the seafaring man with one leg." How that personage haunted my dreams, I need scarcely tell you. On stormy nights, when the wind shook the four corners of the house, and the surf roared along the cove and up the cliffs, I would see him in a thousand forms, and with a thousand diabolical expressions. Now the leg would be cut off at the knee, now at the hip; now he was a monstrous kind of a creature who had never had but the one leg, and that in the middle of his body. To see him leap and run and pursue me over hedge and ditch was the worst of nightmares. And altogether I paid pretty dear for my monthly fourpenny piece, in the shape of these abominable fancies. But though I was so terrified by the idea of the seafaring man with one leg, I was far less afraid of the captain himself than anybody else who knew him. There were nights when he took a deal more rum and water than his head would carry; and then he would sometimes sit and sing his wicked, old wild sea-songs, minding nobody; but sometimes he would call for glasses around, and force all the trembling company to listen to his stories or bear a chorus to his singing. Often I have heard the house shaking with "Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum"; all the neighbors joining in for dear life, with the fear of death upon them, and each singing louder than the other, to avoid remark. For in these fits he was the most overriding companion ever known; he would slap his hand on the table for silence all around; he would fly up in a passion of anger at a question, or sometimes because none was put, and so he judged the company was not following his story. Nor would he allow anyone to leave the inn till he had drunk himself sleepy and reeled off to bed. His stories were what frightened people worst of all. Dreadful stories they were; about hanging, and walking the plank, and storms at sea, and the Dry Tortugas, and wild deeds and places on the Spanish Main. By his own account he must have lived his life among some of the wickedest men that God ever allowed upon the sea; and the language in which he told these stories shocked our plain country people almost as much as the crimes that he described. My father was always saying the inn would be ruined, for people would soon cease coming there to be tyrannized over and put down, and sent shivering to their beds; but I really believe his presence did us good. People were frightened at the time, but on looking back they rather liked it; it was a fine excitement in a quiet country life; and there was even a party of the younger men who pretended to admire him, calling him a "true sea-dog," and a "real old salt," and suchlike names, and saying there was the sort of man that made England terrible at sea. In one way, indeed, he bade fair to ruin us; for he kept on staying week after week, and at last month after month, so that all the money had been long exhausted, and still my father never plucked up the heart to insist on having more. If ever he mentioned it, the captain blew through his nose so loudly, that you might say he roared, and stared my poor father out of the room. I have seen him wringing his hands after such a rebuff, and I am sure the annoyance and the terror he lived in must have greatly hastened his early and unhappy death. All the time he lived with us the captain made no change whatever in his dress but to buy some stockings from a hawker. One of the cocks of his hat having fallen down, he let it hang from that day forth, though it was a great annoyance when it blew. I remember the appearance of his coat, which he patched himself upstairs in his room, and which, before the end, was nothing but patches. He never wrote or received a letter, and he never spoke with any but the neighbors, and with these, for the most part, only when drunk on rum. The great sea-chest none of us had ever seen open. He was only once crossed, and that was toward the end, when my poor father was far gone in a decline that took him off. Dr. Livesey came late one afternoon to see the patient, took a bit of dinner from my mother, and went into the parlor to smoke a pipe until his horse should come down from the hamlet, for we had no stabling at the old "Benbow." I followed him in, and I remember observing the contrast the neat, bright doctor, with his powder as white as snow, and his bright, black eyes and pleasant manners, made with the coltish country folk, and above all, with that filthy, heavy, bleared scarecrow of a pirate of ours, sitting far gone in rum, with his arms on the table. Suddenly he--the captain, that is--began to pipe up his eternal song: "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest-- Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!" At first I had supposed "the dead man's chest" to be that identical big box of his upstairs in the front room, and the thought had been mingled in my nightmares with that of the one-legged seafaring man. But by this time we had all long ceased to pay any particular notice to the song; it was new, that night, to nobody but Dr. Livesey, and on him I observed it did not produce an agreeable effect, for he looked up for a moment quite angrily before he went on with his talk to old Taylor, the gardener, on a new cure for the rheumatics. In the meantime, the captain gradually brightened up at his own music, and at last flapped his hand upon the table before him in a way we all knew to mean--silence. The voices stopped at once, all but Dr. Livesey's; he went on as before, speaking clear and kind, and drawing briskly at his pipe between every word or two. The captain glared at him for a while, flapped his hand again, glared still harder, and at last broke out with a villainous low oath: "Silence, there, between decks!" "Were you addressing me, sir?" says the doctor; and when the ruffian had told him, with another oath, that this was so, "I have only one thing to say to you, sir," replies the doctor, "that if you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel!" The old fellow's fury was awful. He sprang to his feet, drew and opened a sailor's clasp-knife, and, balancing it open on the palm of his hand, threatened to pin the doctor to the wall. The doctor never so much as moved. He spoke to him, as before, over his shoulder, and in the same tone of voice; rather high, so that all the room might hear, but perfectly calm and steady: "If you do not put that knife this instant in your pocket, I promise, upon my honor, you shall hang at next assizes." Then followed a battle of looks between them; but the captain soon knuckled under, put up his weapon, and resumed his seat, grumbling like a beaten dog. "And now, sir," continued the doctor, "since I now know there's such a fellow in my district, you may count I'll have an eye upon you day and night. I'm not a doctor only; I'm a magistrate; and if I catch a breath of complaint against you, if it's only for a piece of incivility like tonight's, I'll take effectual means to have you hunted down and routed out of this. Let that suffice." Soon after Dr. Livesey's horse came to the door, and he rode away; but the captain held his peace that evening, and for many evenings to come. Excerpted from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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