Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe

Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the Real Robinson Crusoe

2.8 4
by Robert Andrew Parker, Robert Kraske
     
 


In 1704, Alexander Selkirk was voyaging across the South Pacific when, after arguing with the ship’s captain, he was put ashore— alone—on 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… See more details below

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Overview


In 1704, Alexander Selkirk was voyaging across the South Pacific when, after arguing with the ship’s captain, he was put ashore— alone—on 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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

School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-In a chronological account of the life of a privateer, two of eight chapters describe Selkirk's solitary, four-year survival on Juan Fernandez, an island 360 miles west of Chile. The book also includes the sailor's rescue and his return to Scotland. The final chapter discusses Daniel Defoe's attempt to use the man's records to create a literary work (Robinson Crusoe) that would pay his mounting debts. Pencil-drawn maps clearly show the locations of Selkirk's voyages. Reference to his temper stops in chapter one, after which he becomes a Bible-reading naturalist, wise navigator, and solitary individual longing for his island home. The book leaves out the historical possibilities that he committed himself in marriage to two women, struggled with alcoholism, and left again for sea after nearly killing a man in a fight. This compelling, if not entirely factual, book features a character about whom little has been written for children. Its greatest merit lies in the chapters that explain privateering and the war between England and Spain.-Julie R. Ranelli, Episcopal Center for Children, Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Any account of this Scottish navigator's adventurous career would make absorbing reading; Kraske adds unusual dimension by enlarging on the historical record with credible insights into his character as well. Sent off alone, with minimal supplies, to an uninhabited island far from the Chilean coast after a clash with his ship's captain, Selkirk learned survival skills through trial and error as he slowly adapted to the total lack of human company. Rescued more than four years later, he went on to become a successful privateer, and even a celebrity. However, too changed by his long isolation to fit back into human society, he ultimately enlisted in the Royal Navy, and died at 41 of a tropical disease. Kraske concludes with sketches of Daniel Defoe's tumultuous life and the genesis of Robinson Crusoe, plus a visit to Selkirk's island today and a research note. Enhanced by a map and by Parker's offhand, full-page portraits at the chapter heads, it all makes a grand, poignant tale. (bibliography) (Biography. 10-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618568437
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Edition description:
None
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
960L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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