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on February 11, 2010
I am a high school English teacher, and I am a huge fan of the original Treasure Island. That said, I love the Classic Start series as a mother who believes in introducing my children to the classics from a very early age. I began using the series with my daughter when she was five. We have read Black Beauty, The Little Princess, Heidi, and Pollyanna to name a few, so I am very familiar with the content of the series, and I keep coming back for more.

My son just turned six. There is no way that he would be able to sit through nor understand the original, but with this abridged version, he not only becomes familiar with the story, he falls in love with it as well. We began reading Treasure Island last night, and he begged for more and more. Finally, after six chapters I insisted that I needed to read to his older sister. While I did, this little kindegartner slugged through another chapter, struggling over every word to try to get more of the story. I couldn't have been more thrilled; that is the love of reading and the love of good literature with which I am trying to bless my children.

Classic Starts are a fantastic way to begin, in my opinion. I see no difference between a beginning pianist first learning an easy version of a classical piano concerto and a young reader first introduced to an abridged version of a classic that, in it's original form would be above both his context and vocabulary level. I am sure that when my son does encounter the original, and he will--I'll make sure of that--he will not only be more ready, he will be more excited to get the rest of the story, thanks to his familiarity with and fondness for Billy Bones, Jim, and Long John Silver. My thanks, Classic Starts.
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VINE VOICEon July 9, 2012
Please note: Treasure Island
This title is heavily abridged and aimed at children but, the Amazon title doesn't tell you this. From the inside cover of the book:

"This Great classic for Children by Dalmation press has been carefully condensed and adapted from the original version ... We kept the well-known phrases for you. We kept the author's style. And we kept the important imagery and heart of the tale."

With its large font and many illustrations the book comes out to 181 pages; whereas, the Sterling Classic unabridged with its regular sized font and no illustrations comes out to 232 pages. This gives an indication of how condensed this version is.

This one has its place as a kids version and should be clearly marked as such.
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VINE VOICEon September 8, 2007
Treasure Island is perhaps THE classic pirate's tale. Robert Louis Stevenson, the author, created a rich story of adventure and treachery on the high seas all seen through the eyes of a boy named Jim Hawkins. Jim starts off as the son of tavern owners in a humble little port village. When an old seaman stays at the tavern, trouble soon follows him in the form of a pirate crew seeking revenge. I will not give away any more specific plot points, but events move forward to a great treasure hunt, treachery, and a surprisingly engaging story for adults as well as children.

Jim Hawkins is the hero of the story and he's a good lad with a stout heart. Long John Silver is the real star, however, and his character is a fascinating character study in moral ambiguity... or perhaps a study in amoral perfection. The pirate language is good and thick but this edition has plenty of notes to help you decipher some of the references that have become too obscure for today's readers. The plot moves along very briskly with no wasted scenes.

In short, Treasure Island well deserves its status as a beloved classic. It's a story of suspense and adventure that can be enjoyed at a child's level, but has substance for adults as well. I would recommend without reserve it to virtually anyone.
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on August 21, 1999
How can you even review the ultimate pirate book of all time? I read it when I was 9 and loved it. I read it again when I was 34 and loved it again! (Actually, I read it several times between, as well.) Long John Silver is arguably one of the most Macchiavellian characters you will ever find between the covers of a book. (I'm mainly reviewing it to raise the average rating. Anyone who thinks this book is boring has to have a screw loose!) From the arrival of the mysterious Billy Bones, to the attack on the inn, to the sea voyage, to the mutiny, to the battle for the island, to the treasure hunt, even to the final fate of John Silver, this book is a stunning rollercoaster of suspense and adventure! I'd give it ten stars if I could.
Here's a bit of information you other readers might enjoy: the meaning of the pirates' song--
Fifteen men on a dead man's chest Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
The real-life pirate, Edward Teach (Blackbeard the Pirate) once marooned 15 of his men on a small island named Dead Man's Chest. He put them ashore with no weapons, equipment or supplies--just a bottle of rum.
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on April 7, 2008
I have a copy of this as well as the one with Wyeth illustrations. I prefer this for the kids as there are more illustrations throughout the book, it is a bit larger and pages printed to give a parchment look. The quality of the illustrations is outstanding. This is a beautiful book.
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on January 19, 2012
Robert Ingpen's illustrations greatly assist young readers in understanding this classic of 19th century literature. There are 70 brilliant watercolor illustrations appropriately scattered throughout the book which greatly assist young readers in following the story line. The book itself is of excellent quality and perhaps the best choice you could make as a gift or keepsake for the $14 price at amazon. The amazon guidance is for readers of 10 and up and i would warn that this age level is largely subjective and depends on the reading level of the child. Perhaps 12 or 13 would be more appropriate for most kids. As parents may recall, the book is filled with nautical terms (its about 18th century pirates after all) with which very young children of today may be unfamiliar. This particular book is a great opportunity though to read it aloud with a 10 year old child and therby being present to answer any questions. Wikipedia's online glossary of nautical terms would also be a helpful reference for a pre-teen reader while reading this book. By all means though i highly recommend this attractive and brilliantly illustrated book as an excellent learning experience for kids.
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on November 23, 2005
Treasure Island

Retold by Chris Tait Original story by Robert Louis Stevenson

I am ten-years-old and my Teacher, Mrs. McAuley asked us to write a book review on the book we read. This is mine.

This book is just one of the Classic Starts series. These books are easy to read and good for all ages. I highly recommend this book as a good family novel because it's easy to make a mind image of putting yourself in the story. I would like to see this made into a movie.

The story has many different settings, first you start out in Admiral BenBow Inn and then we go on board the Hispanola ship, eventually it all ends up on Treasure Island. At the Inn we meet Jim Hawkins and his mom who rents a room to Billy Bones. Billy Bones turned out to be a pirate with Captain Flint's secret treasure map that Jim Hawkins found.

Jim shares the map with his trusted friends and they all decide to buy a ship, hire a crew, and set sail for the treasure. Chapter Seven describes the crew which includes: The captain (Captain Smollet), the ships doctor (Doctor Livesey), the cook (Long John Silvers), 2nd mate (Officer Trelawney), 1st mate (Arrow), and 19 additional crew members. Can you tell which crew members are evil and which are good, read the book and see. However, it'll be hard to tell whether Long John Silvers is either a friend or a foe.

With so many crew members and only one treasure, a battle is about to spawn. Good sailors, and evil pirates, who will become victorious and receive Flint's treasure,?

Near the end they finally land on Treasure Island. While searching for the treasure suddenly... "Fifteen men on a deadmans chest--- Yo ho ho in a bottle of rum" everyone screams in fear, at the familiar voice... but if Flint's dead and the Island is uninhabited, who can it be?
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on April 26, 2014
I'm not here to review Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, which needs no review. It's a masterpiece of adventure fiction that should be read by everyone at least once, even if they don't typically care for pirate stories. I'm here to review this particular edition, a Scribner Classics hardcover published by Atheneum Books in 2012 (ISBN 9781442474444). It's a nice enough edition to be sure, but it pales in comparison to a much less expensive paperback published seven years prior, the Barnes & Noble Classics edition (ISBN 9781593082475).

The Scribner edition is fine for what it is, but it's not much more than the original Stevenson novel with the painted illustrations by N. C. Wyeth added for the 1911 edition. Compare this to the Barnes & Noble edition, which gives you a long introduction (25+ pages), a short biography of Stevenson, a short section on the stage and film adaptations of the novel, a Q&A section for classrooms, and most importantly, dozens of footnotes and annotations to help explain words, terms, objects, and situations that were well-known in 1881 but are difficult for modern readers to grasp without guidance. The Barnes & Noble edition also includes all of the Wyeth illustrations that are in the Scribner edition, the only downside being that the illustrations are in black and white in the Barnes & Noble edition, while they're printed in full color in the Scribner edition.

But the Barnes & Noble edition has the upper hand even regarding the illustrations, because while they're in black and white instead of color, they're at least in their correct placement alongside the corresponding text. Comparing the two editions, I noticed that the illustrations are never where they should be in the Scribner edition. For example, the illustration for the text on page 15 is between pages 18 and 19, the illustration for the text on page 76 is between pages 82 and 83, and so forth. What the reader sees in the illustrations is always a scene that's already occurred. Flipping through my Barnes & Noble edition, I didn't find a single illustration that wasn't directly facing the page with the corresponding text.

One last complaint against the Scribner edition: despite the high price of the book, the binding is glued instead of sewn, making the book impossible to lie flat and prone to pages falling out in the future after multiple readings. I don't exactly expect the same quality as the books from the Library of America or the Everyman's Library, but sewn binding should be a requirement for any hardcover book this expensive.

I don't want to sound too harsh toward this edition, because like I said, it's perfectly fine for what it is. But prospective buyers should know that they're getting less for more. I've been a fan of the Barnes & Noble Classics series for years, and for good reason: they may be inexpensive paperbacks, but the quality and the content are superb, and I can't really recommend paying more than twice the money for another edition that's missing the footnotes and annotations that are essential for modern readers to enjoy Treasure Island to its fullest potential, not to mention the lengthy introduction and biographical material that helps to put the story in its proper context.
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on October 26, 2012
This fantastic edition has a velvety-to-the-touch black hardcover with Wyeth's art emblazoned on the front. The illustrations inside have been given new life with vibrant color. The inside front and back covers include enlarged and mono-chromatic illustrations of Long John Silver and company that bleed off the borders. The pages are thick and leafy. This edition of "Treasure" is exactly that--it was made to be durably read over and over again and enjoyed for generations.
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VINE VOICEon January 28, 2007
All four things mentioned above can be found at your fingertips with Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island." Before Johnny Depp stumbled off of the Black Pearl, before Errol Flynn took us on swashbuckling journeys, and even before "Lucky" Jack Aubrey took to the water, Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins thrilled fans of high-seas adventure. "Treasure Island" tells the story of one young Jim Hawkins. It starts off in the simple setting of a family-owned inn where we are introduced to Billy Bones, an old seadog who has a secret. After a couple of visits from some strange characters, a confrontation occurs and a treasure map lands into the hands of Hawkins. From there, we set sail on the Hispaniola with Hawkins, the squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, the sea cook Silver, and a whole slew of pirates and scoundrels in general. All are after the treasure of Captain Flint, who graciously marked his treasure map with an "X" to show the way to the riches.

This is a wonderful tale of intrigue, double-crossing, greed, and swordplay. Promoted as a children's book, I'm sure that any adult will find this story captivating as well. Robert Louis Stevenson is a literary legend and deserves that honor based on this book alone. However, if you read this book and are interested to read more of Stevenson's work, check out "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Kidnapped," and "The Black Arrow." He also wrote a number of traveling books which are also fun to read.

Highly recommended.
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