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The Swiss Family Robinson (Puffin Classics) Paperback – March 5, 2009
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About the Author
Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) was, like the narrator of his famous story, a Swiss pastor who had four sons. He is best remembered for Swiss Family Robinson which it is said was inspired by Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and which became an international classic bestseller.
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In the beginning, a violent storm shipwrecks this family of six on two rocks near an island. The father devises a plan to get them off the ship and onto the island. Another exiting event is later, when they have become accustomed to the island, they decide to tie the heavy items left on the partially sunken ship to barrels and blow up the ship, to make the heavy items float to shore. Sadly, one day, while walking their animals, an enormous snake appeared and ate their donkey. They used this opportunity to kill the snake, but their poor donkey Grizzle was dead.
If you like adventure and survival, this is a great book for you. Will the family survive? Will they ever get back to civilization? Find out by reading this book!
As a spoiler, of course, the likelihood of encountering the wide variety of animals at on location and the quick domestication of such is more of the "fantasy island" approach. I hate it growing up. LOL.
This time around it was interesting to see the faith of the parents, their prayer lives; and of course, their constant thankfulness for everyday blessings--like surviving another day. I thought it refreshing to see resourceful individuals solve problems and adapt; but then remember to be thankful. It may seem harsh to some to read of the destruction of some of the "local" predators or animals that cause havoc to crops, etc; but when in "survival" mode, you do what you have to do to help ensure your continued life and those of your family.
Easy read, still allows you to use your imagination, but lacks the character development of our more modern books.
The value of being optimistic is taught through the example of this Swiss family. Being shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, they immediately explore the island and find many useful things through their ingenuity and problem solving. Because they work hard, they are able to find many foods and other plants that are useful to their survival.
Throughout this story, you consistently see how each family member is valued, each family member uses their talents as best they can to help and serve one another. In life, we must focus on others. Trying to help others makes life more fulfilling, and helps us refine our talents.