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The Swiss Family Robinson (Sterling Unabridged Classics) Hardcover – October 28, 2006

36 customer reviews

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$9.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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The Swiss Family Robinson (Sterling Unabridged Classics) + Classic Starts™: Treasure Island (Classic Starts™ Series) + The Adventures of Robin Hood (Classic Starts)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1190L (What's this?)
  • Series: Sterling Unabridged Classics
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; First American Edition edition (October 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402726023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402726026
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Seeker on April 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this classic long ago and it left enough of an impression on me, through multiple childhood readings, that I still remember some of the lines word for word. The only problem is... they're not in here.

Now, I understand are that there are multiple translations and recensions of this work, so this COULD be an "unabridged" version of something closer to the original than what I first read - but if it is, then the original is nowhere near as charming and riveting as the version I recall. Everything here moves too quickly and simply, without suspense or detail; entire conversations are missing... and, most telling, "jumps" occur in which you think, "How did we get HERE?" This last is what makes me suspect that the "un-" was either an editor's mistake or a blatant bit of false advertising... but again, I'm no expert and don't have an "original" version to consult, nor could I read it except in an English translation anyway. Another point that makes the "unabridged" tag suspect is that some of the "lessons" are missing (i.e. Fritz getting scolded for "lying" that he brought nothing home with him, when his hands were obviously hiding something behind his back), and my understanding is that the author originally wrote this thing as one big lesson. (I may not agree with all the lessons, but why remove any part of a classic text?) The language, at least, hasn't been "dumbed down" for children (what an insult to children when we do that!), but it still reads like a simplified version of the story.

So I now own a book which I have little interest in reading, and have had to order another one... THIS time I used the "search inside this book" feature to find the exact lines I recalled from my childhood reading - and yes, I DID remember them exactly, they ARE in there.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Fancy Nancy VINE VOICE on July 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought three of the Classic Start books, Swiss Family Robinson being one. After reading all three (SFR, Treasure Island, and Tom Sawyer) with my young child (age 6) I was so disappointed at the lack of "meat" in the story, the prose so altered because so much of it was simply deleted that the stories -- in all three cases -- were very flat. I bought these books to read to my child because of the excellence in writing of the originals. In the "Retold" versions in the Classic Start Series, there is no breadth of vocabulary, it being so watered down that it left me sorry I had spent the money. To shorten the stories, so many details are left out that the stories just aren't the same and much of the meatier vocabulary is gone.

If your intent is to widen your child's vocabulary by exposing them to good writing and lyrical prose, do not opt for the "retold," condensed versions of these classic stories. Get the originals and read every word. They will get the meaning from the context and will be enriched. I cannot say the same for the Classic Start Series.

I suppose they serve a purpose and that because of the price point there will be children who will hear the stories that otherwise might not. For that point alone I gave the two stars.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By BillyBobJoe on December 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Looking for the orginal and this is not it. I heard the original on a Librivox recording and absolutely loved it. In my opinion this is a poor substitute. There should be a law against calling this the unabridged version.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I got this book for my 10th birthday, and I loved it! I read it to my little sister, and she loved it too. now we are reading The Secret Garden from the same series. I don't care what other people think of this series I think it is good and all kids who love to read classics should try it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Homeschooling Mom on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This version was recommended to our family for the upper elementary age reader. The language of the unabridged version is excellent and interesting. If your child is unable to read the original themselves it would be worth your time and effort to read it to them. You would both increase your vocabulary and gain understanding of good sentence structure. With this Classic Starts edition the sentences are choppy and vastly different than the original. I don't pretend to know how to make the transition but I was very disappointed when I read the first few chapters. I would only recommend this book for the very early reader in the lower elementary grades and would venture to give an unabridged version to a strong reader age 10 or older and supply them with a dictionary and mom or dad to read along with them. The original is too good to miss. This book has a beautiful cover but the inside fails to match.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joe O'Hara on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Terrible. The moral lessons in this story have been omitted, leaving nothing but the plot outline. Why? This is supposed to be a story to share with your children as a teaching tool. This "retelling" is pointless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patchwork Girl on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am reading this to my daughters (ages 4 and 7). They LOVE it, and beg for one more chapter. I think this is an over-simplified version of the story. The text is dumbed-down with easier language, and it takes away from the story. The story seems very flat. I would personally give it 2 stars, but gave 3 since the kids love it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. L. Asselin VINE VOICE on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Johann David Wyss's THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON apparently has had a checkered textual history, especially in English translation, and even in this inexpensive handsome volume produced for children, it shows. But it would help if the 18th-century story were more compelling to start with.

This is not your Disney Swiss Family. Yes, like the movie, the Robinsons are shipwrecked. And like the Disney version, this family has a (somewhat less cool) tree house. But beyond that, really, the similarities end.

The Robinsons, who were on their way to begin a new life perhaps somewhere in the South Seas, are marooned on an uncharted island after the crew of the ship they were on abandoned them during a storm. Apparently, everyone else dies. Miraculously, just as in "Gilligan's Island," much of the ship is left intact, at least those parts of the ship that hold everything the family needs to be comfortable. The family attributes their good fortune to Providence, and it quickly becomes apparent to the reader that this book is written as to epitomize the value of the Protestant work ethic: be self-reliant, work hard and pray harder and God will take care of the rest.

And does God deliver! The livestock on board the ship--cows, pigs, and sheep--survive and through the ingenuity of the father (who always knows best, finally!) and his sons are brought safely to shore, along with any number of useful implements, gunpowder, a veritable arsenal of weapons, food stocks and wine, and seeds, to name just a handful of things the family salvages. The father's vast talents--another point of the book is to underscore the value of a broad education--are realized in a variety of construction projects including gardens and various places of residence.
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The Swiss Family Robinson (Sterling Unabridged Classics)
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