|Photo by: Apolonia|
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is a book I’d read excerpts from, even extensive ones, but I’d just never read the whole book before. To say the least, I was surprised!
For one, I was surprised how easy it is to read. It would be great for young men, probably junior high age or high school. It has all the elements that would interest young people. The story begins with a rebellious boy who signs up against his parents’ wishes to sail the seas. He reaps the consequences of his sinfulness and becomes even more rebellious. As God would have it, He teaches Robinson a huge lesson about His grace by allowing him to be the sole survivor of a shipwreck.
It’s told in first person and describes how Robinson not only survives, but thrives. He does ingenious things in order to shelter, clothe, and feed himself. He builds an amazing fortress that no one would ever guess was there—even while looking straight at it. And, he finds forgiveness and a very strong Christian faith with a dependence on and love for the Bible.
After over twenty years alone on the island, Robinson discovers a single footprint. Later, he watches cannibals. He also ends up saving a man from being eaten. This man becomes his lifelong servant, Friday. Robinson leads him to Christ and he teaches him how to survive on the island.
Robinson and Friday have some fights and adventures, eventually leaving the island and going back to England.
This is an exciting book, well told. It is strong in its teaching about grace, mercy, and salvation.
The elements you might want to discuss with your children are:
- The use of tobacco and liquors
- Robinson’s making Friday a servant—by saving his life
- Killing in self-defense
I believe these are all good discussions to approach in a biblical way and will add to your parenting.
I personally loved Robinson Crusoe and would recommend it to boys especially, but also to many girls.
It’s a great old classic and an amazingly forward-thinking book for having been written in 1719. No wonder it’s been translated into many languages and read the world over!