What to say about Treasure Island? For some reason, I’m struggling with this review, and I don’t even know what it is that I’m struggling with. I read the book aloud to my two boys, so I’ll share what they thought of it and mix in my thoughts. I’m going to start with the story’s main character, Jim Hawkins. My oldest son is a pre-teen (about Jim’s age) and found himself easily relating to Jim. My son is a rough country boy and hates reading about weak characters. He likes main characters that are strong, brave, and will stand up for what they believe in. That’s exactly what he got with Jim, too. Jim barely flinches as he fights his way through the book.
My son also loved the villain of the story, Long John Silver. Silver was quite intelligent, and if it weren’t for the wild young shipmates he’s dealing with, he’d probably have pulled off his whole evil plan. Then again, Jim might still have thwarted it. The young drunken shipmates were the only characters my oldest son didn’t care for. It wasn’t that Stevenson didn’t create the characters well, my son just didn’t like the stupidity and lack of good judgment they showed.
For my youngest son, the story started out slow, but as soon as the whole scheme of going on a treasure hunt took place, he was sold. Both my boys often related things they saw in current pirate tales, to this classic. We had a lot of good discussions centered around pirates and life on a boat.
I still often find my youngest son singing:
Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!