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Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe Hardcover – October 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 960L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (October 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618568433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618568437
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,523,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8–In a chronological account of the life of a privateer, two of eight chapters describe Selkirk's solitary, four-year survival on Juan Fernandez, an island 360 miles west of Chile. The book also includes the sailor's rescue and his return to Scotland. The final chapter discusses Daniel Defoe's attempt to use the man's records to create a literary work (Robinson Crusoe) that would pay his mounting debts. Pencil-drawn maps clearly show the locations of Selkirk's voyages. Reference to his temper stops in chapter one, after which he becomes a Bible-reading naturalist, wise navigator, and solitary individual longing for his island home. The book leaves out the historical possibilities that he committed himself in marriage to two women, struggled with alcoholism, and left again for sea after nearly killing a man in a fight. This compelling, if not entirely factual, book features a character about whom little has been written for children. Its greatest merit lies in the chapters that explain privateering and the war between England and Spain.–Julie R. Ranelli, Episcopal Center for Children, Washington, DC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. This attractive little book offers the true survival story of the man who inspired Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe. In 1704, English sailing master Alexander Selkirk was marooned on Juan Fernandez, an isolated Pacific island. There he hunted seals, fashioned primitive tools, made clothes from goatskins, read his Bible, and made peace with his lot. In 1709, two English ships rescued him, hired him as a second mate, and later captured a Spanish treasure ship. Selkirk returned to London a wealthy man, though he never regained the peace of mind he had found on his island. Kraske offers a well-focused look at life in several quite different settings during the early eighteenth century as well as an absorbing telling of Selkirk's story. Parker contributes a full-page illustration at the beginning of each chapter and a small decorative drawing that reappears throughout the account. The book ends with a glossary, a bibliography, and an informative note concerning Juan Fernandez Island today and Kraske's research. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Although a true story, it seems to be told by a great storyteller.
Biddy Mulligan
Still, all-in-all, I found it interesting and enjoyable and well worth the 6.00 total.
Odn
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes tales of survival.
Nick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Scottish mariner Alexander Selkirk is marooned on a South Pacific island - and becomes the model for Daniel Defoe's novel Robinson Crusoe. In his real life he survived completely alone for over four years, and engaged in daring sea exploits upon his rescue - including the capture of a Spanish treasure ship. His experiences come to life in a title which reads with all the drama of fiction, embellished with colorful detail in Marooned: The Strange But True Adventures Of Alexander Selkirk, The Real Robinson Crusoe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Experienced Editor VINE VOICE on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As Alexander Selkirk watched his ship sailing away, leaving him alone on a small, isolated south Pacific island, he thought the captain was bluffing. After all, Alexander was the sailing master, a skilled navigator able to pilot the crudely charted seas in 1703. Without him, the ship would be unable to find her way back to England--wouldn't she? Even though he had challenged the captain's authority and refused to sail on until repairs were made to the travel-worn ship, he was sure the captain would have to return for his navigator.
Days stretched into weeks, and Alexander realized that he had indeed been abandoned. Over the next four years and four months, he survived by his wits: building shelter, crafting rude tools, and adapting to his wild, solitary life on Juan Fernandez Island.
To research this book, author Kraske consulted accounts written by men who had known Selkirk, including the English privateer Woodes Rogers, whose ship rescued Selkirk from the island. Together, Rogers and Selkirk sailed eastward, returning to England two years later by way of Indonesia and south Africa.
Rogers's account was also read by another Englishman, Daniel Defoe, who was inspired to create his own castaway, Robinson Crusoe.
Marooned is a quick but compelling read. Its 120 pages are chock-full of vivid details about Selkirk's exploits, from solitude and survival to piracy and privateering in the early 1700s. The account is recommended for adventure-craving readers in upper elementary and junior high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Woolwash on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This true story should inspire many to get outdoors and enjoy what is on offer. Following Sellirk's story of his journey circumnavigating the globe, his ingenuity whilst being marooned for 4 years and privateering with the likes of William Dampier and Woodes Rogers. Whilst it is a children's book the detail is fascinating enough for older readers to enjoy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Gaither on May 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though the story was intriguing, the book itself was thin and the typeface about 12 points, which made for a very fast read. Maybe two hours. I like my books to take a few days with a lot of depth and character development which this one was lacking. This book seemed geared towards middle school aged readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Surplus Sunshine on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you enjoy real life adventure, you will love this book. Alexander Selkirk's true tale inspired the tale Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson.

It is so great to go to the primary source. So if you like Crusoe and Swiss you will really enjoy this tome.

Enjoy!
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More About the Author


Robert Kraske has published nineteen books on a variety of subjects for young readers, middle grades through senior high -- science, American history, biography, fiction, and more. A former editor of an environmental education magazine, he resides in Stillwater, Minnesota.