Reviews for Robinson Crusoe


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1999
Abridgments of two famous novels preserve each book's most compelling incidents, but the brevity of each precludes much of the original's richness. Notes and informational sidebars throughout provide story comment and historical context, but clutter the book design and are distracting. The watercolor illustrations for [cf2]Crusoe[cf1] and the oil paintings for [cf2]20,000 Leagues[cf1] nicely suit each story's mood and setting. Copyright 1999 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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VOYA Reviews 1999 December
These abridged editions of two adventure classics are visually stunning and full of fascinating historical and geographical information. First published in 1719, Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is an inspiring tale of amazing resourcefulness, great courage,and gritty determination. When young Crusoe embarks upon his fateful voyage from Brazil to West Africa, little does he know that he is about to face the challenge of his life. Shipwrecked and marooned on a desert island in the Caribbean Sea, Crusoe'severy survival skill is tested. He struggles to survive on meager natural resources and preserve his mental stability despite loneliness with only animals for company. After twenty-eight years, Crusoe sees a group of Carib Indians row ashore toperform a human sacrifice. Crusoe finds a friend in the captive, "Friday," who he rescues from certain death. This gripping account of one man's heroic triumph against adverse conditions is a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit. In 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1870), Verne's ability to foresee future technological advances is clear. Famed natural historian Professor Aronnax is asked to help search when a suspected gigantic sea monster endangers seagoing vessels. While atsea, the frigate Abraham Lincoln is rammed and disabled. The professor and others are saved from their aggressor, not a huge sea creature, but an amazing, ironclad, electrically powered submarine, the Nautilus. Its commander, Captain Nemo, refuses toreturn them to port and takes them on a fabulous underwater odyssey. The personal tragedy that causes the captain to forsake civilization, the creation of this futuristic vessel, and the journeys through the deep make for a spellbinding read.Although both books tell of extraordinary adventures, and have protagonists that are clever, ingenious, skillful, and tenacious, they are different in many ways. Where Crusoe is isolated from the world accidentally, and eventually adapts to hisenvironment and enjoys a measure of happiness; the embittered Captain Nemo has chosen to abandon civilization, and restlessly roams the undersea world in an attempt to find peace of mind. These exquisite oversized volumes from the Eyewitness Classics series are a joy to read and are typical of this publisher's quality standards. Beautifully illustrated and informative, these books will make wonderful additions to any young adultlibrary. Other titles in this series are King Arthur, Dracula, Robin Hood, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Oliver Twist.-Delia Culberson. Copyright 1999 Voya Reviews

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