The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe
Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780618568437, 128pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 2005
In 1704, Alexander Selkirk was voyaging across the South Pacific when, after arguing with the ship’s captain, he was put ashore aloneon an uninhabited island. Equipped with little more than a musket and his wits, Selkirk not only survived in complete solitude for more than four years, but to came to be quite comfortable and happy. After being rescued by a British privateer in 1709, he took a leading role in several dramatic captures of merchant ships. Although he returned to civilization a rich man, he couldn’t find a place in society and always longed to return to the paradise of his island.
Selkirk’s well-documented adventures so inspired Daniel Defoe that they became the basis for his perennial classic, Robinson Crusoe. In an account that is every bit as fascinating as Defoe’s novel, Robert Kraske provides vivid descriptions of Selkirk’s days on the island and aboard ship, including details of the violent, bloody, and legally sanctioned pirating that went on in the early 18th century. Author’s note, glossary, bibliography, index.
"Kraske adds unusual dimension by enlarging on the historical record with credible insights...makes a grand, poignant tale." KIRKUS, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Absorbing...a colorful look at the life of an eighteenth-century mariner." BULLETIN Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[Kraske] treats readers to a quiet narrative, peppered with language and quotes of the period...full-page illustrations." HORN BOOK Horn Book
"A well-focused look at life...during the early eighteenth century...an absorbing telling of Selkirk's story." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
"This compelling...book features a character about whom little has been written for children." SLJ School Library Journal
"The quiet and accessible narrative...is strengthened by full-page illustrations and a trio of maps" HORN BOOK GUIDE, Pointer Horn Book Guide, Pointer