When I was nine years old I spent months struggling through this book for the first time. The old style language made for rough going, but I persevered. In the end I was rewarded with more than a classic tale marvelously told; I discovered a love of books and earned self-respect for tackling a tough read.
If I was a teacher whose task it was to introduce students to classic literature, I would skip Dickens and use this book. Kids love adventure, animals, and action. Swiss Family Robinson has it all. Its really a thriller disguised as a literary classic. All book lovers should read this one at least once.
It is well-written, well-paced, full of adventure, and is a wonderful book on mans interactions with nature and the environment.
A shipwreck strands a family headed for the new world with nothing but the ships supplies and each other on a desert isle. Through hard work and knowledge of the natural world, they are able to not just survive, but thrive on the island. There is no better adventure in the natural world survival story.
This book is so good and so well-regarded that there have been multiple schmaltzy movie versions over the years. DONT SEE THEM UNTIL YOU READ THE BOOK! The writing moves well and the plot line includes plenty of excitement. Although this book is 200 years old, the author wrote it as an action book and it does not drag like other works of the time like Last of the Mohicans or Robinson Crusoe. Robinson Crusoe is another famous survival story written prior to this book, but it suffers from being a morality play with little action and long descriptive sections that are frankly boring. The Swiss Family Robinson is a much better book.
This is a particularly clean book also and is perfect for younger readers as well. Highly recommended.