Swiss Family Robinson

Publisher: Penguin

Review

William, a Swiss pastor, and his wife Elizabeth are sailing to Australia with their four sons – Fritz, Ernest, Jack and Francis – when their ship is caught in a storm and they become shipwrecked on a deserted island.

Taking all the ship’s cargo to land, including livestock, the family set up camp on the island and prepare for a long stay. They explore and adapt to their new environment, encountering an amazing array of animals on the island. Covering ten years of their adventure and survival, the book has all the impossibilities of a tropical island that a child will love.

Originally written in German in 1812, the language is a bit antiquated and carries a religious undertone that you would expect in a book from the 1800s, but the strong sense of adventure remains. Numerous adaptations and translations have resulted in changes from the original version, and the 1960 classic Disney film that most will know took many liberties with the plot.

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