Summer is a great time to brush up on favorite stranded-on-a-deserted-island books! We love Robinson Crusoe — and that started a Crusoe reading extravaganza. Here are a few of our favorite “Robinson Crusoe” books (in approximate order of increasing maturity):
1. Barty Crusoe and His Man Saturday by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Barty is a good reader for his age … with an excellent imagination! Off he goes with the Good Wolf to a deserted island and a visit with pirates — perfectly polite pirates. Cute book for the youngest by the author of books such as The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess.
2. Leila: Or, The Island by Ann Fraser Tytler
A young child, her father, and her nurse are shipwrecked alone on a desert island. The child begins to learn how to live less selfishly.
3. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Classic to be read by all — young and old alike.
4. Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
Yes, this classic does stretch the imagination a bit, but a great read!
5. The Nameless Island: A Story of some Modern Robinson Crusoes by Percy F. Westerman
Actually, it does have a name, or is given a name by its new inhabitants. Exciting adventure.
6. A New Robinson Crusoe by William Livingston Alden
This one is really written tongue in cheek, pointing out some of the “errors” in the original via the storyline. Read this one for fun!
7. The Rival Crusoes; Or, The Shipwreck by Agnes Strickland
A tale of forgiveness and redemption sorted out on a deserted island. Written by a respected historian, the story is apparently based on real events.
8. The Rival Crusoes by William Henry Giles Kingston
Kingston read the book above by Strickland when he was a young boy. He rewrote it correcting some “nautical errors” and reworked the story into “a deeply interesting story of much larger proportions.” Though the two versions share the same basic storyline, they are really two very different books — both worth a read.
9. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
Castaways land on a Pacific island by way of balloon. Excellent adventure with a surprise ending. Not to be missed for Jules Verne fans. (This classic illustrated by N.C. Wyeth is a favorite.)
10. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Of course, nothing is better than the original. (Illustrated, unabridged version is a favorite.)