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Kidnapped
     

Kidnapped

3.8 140
by Robert Louis Stevenson
 

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Seventeen-year-old David Balfour's villainous uncle has him kidnapped in order to steal his inheritance. David escapes only to fall into the dangerous company of rebels who are resisting British redcoats in the Scottish highlands.

Overview

Seventeen-year-old David Balfour's villainous uncle has him kidnapped in order to steal his inheritance. David escapes only to fall into the dangerous company of rebels who are resisting British redcoats in the Scottish highlands.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Naomi Butler
When young David Balfour's father dies and leaves him in poverty, David tracks down his Uncle Ebenezer to seek his inheritance. But his uncle is a nasty man with a dark family secret. David finds himself in terrible danger when he is kidnapped and taken prisoner on board a ship bound for slavery—he must escape. With the help of daring rebel, Alan Beck, David faces a wild adventure as he is hunted across the desolate Scottish moors. This handsome paperback will draw the attention of students assigned to read the title and/or the casual reader who has heard of the story, as well as the re-reader. The Puffin classics have been hailed as the most innovative and imaginative children's literature for generations. There is a nice introduction by Alexander McCall Smith that sets the story in the time and place. There is an "Author File," "Who's Who In Kidnapped," "Some Things To Think About," "Some Things to Do," "Jacobite Scotland, A Scottish Glossary," and some suggestions for other Puffin titles. Reviewer: Naomi Butler
Children's Literature
If you are looking for a book of adventure, then this is a perfect choice. At the young age of seventeen, David Belfour sets out alone to search for an uncle he never knew he had. On his travels he is kidnapped and from there, his life becomes fraught with perils, adventure, and near death experiences. Fortunately he meets and becomes friends with a master-swordsman, and the two of them are able to successfully cross Scotland where David succeeds in claiming his heritage and inheritance. Kidnapped is filled with excitement and captures the reader’s interest right from the beginning. The author includes a yellow box on every page that holds the thoughts of David; this helps with the comprehension of the story. This book is written in graphic format. It makes it perfect for students who are reluctant readers who never seem to finish a book on their own. Young adults who want to read anything they can get their hands on will also enjoy the graphics and fast-paced text. The full color graphics make an enormous impact on the story. Graphic novels also provide a comfortable length for reluctant readers; yet they include the substance of the original novel. It is perfect for book reports and book discussions. I did not understand why or agree with the author capitalizing entire words throughout the book, with no grammatical reason for it, but I do highly recommend this book. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
This retelling of Stevenson's classic hits the high points of what was originally a densely written story, making it more palatable for reluctant readers or those who want to revisit the original. The text and dialogue retain the spirit of the novel, but the hard-to-read Scottish accents are softened and the passages in which characters speak to each other in Latin have been removed. On the whole this is an engaging adaptation, aided by Kennedy's vibrant illustrations in a palette dominated by blues, greens, and sepia tones. The action scenes are exciting, and readers will get a good feel for the dangers of the sea and the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. However, adapting some parts of the book and using other parts verbatim can be confusing. For example, the last sentence, about David Balfour finding the doors of the British Linen Company's bank, is quoted verbatim. Earlier mention of this bank is not included, which might leave readers wondering why it is significant. Quibbles aside, this book would make a good bridge to the novel for readers who want to delve deeper into the story, and will also prove to those readers who think they hate classics that some of them are actually kind of cool.
—Andrea LipinskiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

From the Publisher
"Crossley reads this tale as its author might have. Adept at the language of the region and times, Crossley deftly brings one of literature's best-known stories to the ears of contemporary listeners." ---AudioFile

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812504736
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
01/15/1991
Series:
Tor Classics Series
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.59(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Kidnapped

1

I SET OFF UPON MY JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF SHAWS

I WILL BEGIN the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house. The sun began to shine upon the summit of the hills as I went down the road; and by the time I had come as far as the manse, the blackbirds were whistling in the garden lilacs, and the mist that hung around the valley in the time of the dawn was beginning to arise and die away.

Mr. Campbell, the minister of Essendean, was waiting for me by the garden gate, good man! He asked me if I had breakfasted; and hearing that I lacked for nothing, he took my hand in both of his and clapped it kindly under his arm.

"Well, Davie, lad," said he, "I will go with you as far as the ford, to set you on the way."

And we began to walk forward in silence.

"Are ye sorry to leave Essendean?" said he, after a while.

"Why, sir," said I, "if I knew where I was going, or what was likely to become of me, I would tell you candidly. Essendean is a good place indeed, and I have been very happy there; but then I have never been anywhere else. My father and mother, since they are both dead, I shall be no nearer to in Essendean than in the Kingdom of Hungary; and, to speak truth, if I thought I had a chance to bettermyself where I was going I would go with a good will."

"Ay?" said Mr. Campbell. "Very well, Davie. Then it behoves me to tell your fortune; or so far as I may. When your mother was gone, and your father (the worthy, Christian man) began to sicken for his end, he gave me in charge a certain letter, which he said was your inheritance. 'So soon,' says he, 'as I am gone, and the house is redd up and the gear disposed of' (all which, Davie, hath been done), 'give my boy this letter into his hand, and start him off to the house of Shaws, not far from Cramond. That is the place I came from,' he said, 'and it's where it befits that my boy should return. He is a steady lad,' your father said, 'and a canny goer; and I doubt not he will come safe, and be well liked where he goes.'"

"The house of Shaws!" I cried. "What had my poor father to do with the house of Shaws?"

"Nay," said Mr. Campbell, "who can tell that for a surety? But the name of that family, Davie boy, is the name you bear—Balfours of Shaws: an ancient, honest, reputable house, peradventure in these latter days decayed. Your father, too, was a man of learning as befitted his position; no man more plausibly conducted school; nor had he the manner or the speech of a common dominie; but (as ye will yourself remember) I took aye a pleasure to have him to the manse to meet the gentry; and those of my own house, Campbell of Kilrennet, Campbell of Dunswire, Campbell of Minch, and others, all well-kenned gentlemen, had pleasure in his society. Lastly, to put all the elements of this affair before you, here is the testamentary letter itself, superscribed by the own hand of our departed brother."

He gave me the letter, which was addressed in these words: "To the hands of Ebenezer Balfour, Esquire, of Shaws, in his house of Shaws, these will be delivered by my son, David Balfour." My heart was beating hard at this great prospect now suddenly opening before a lad of seventeen years of age, the son of a poor country dominie in the Forest of Ettrick.

"Mr. Campbell," I stammered, "and if you were in my shoes, would you go?"

"Of a surety," said the minister, "that would I, andwithout pause. A pretty lad like you should get to Cramond (which is near in by Edinburgh) in two days of walk. If the worst came to the worst, and your high relations (as I cannot but suppose them to be somewhat of your blood) should put you to the door, ye can but walk the two days back again and risp at the manse door. But I would rather hope that ye shall be well received, as your poor father forecast for you, and for anything that I ken come to be a great man in time. And here, Davie, laddie," he resumed, "it lies near upon my conscience to improve this parting, and set you on the right guard against the dangers of the world."

Here he cast about for a comfortable seat, lighted on a big boulder under a birch by the trackside, sate down upon it with a very long, serious upper lip, and the sun now shining in upon us between two peaks, put his pocket handkerchief over his cocked hat to shelter him. There, then, with uplifted forefinger, he first put me on my guard against a considerable number of heresies, to which I had no temptation, and urged upon me to be instant in my prayers and reading of the Bible. That done, he drew a picture of the great house that I was bound to, and how I should conduct myself with its inhabitants.

"Be soople, Davie, in things immaterial," said he. "Bear ye this in mind, that, though gentle born, ye have had a country rearing. Dinnae shame us, Davie, dinnae shame us! In yon great, muckle house, with all these domestics, upper and under, show yourself as nice, as circumspect, as quick at the conception, and as slow of speech as any. As for the laird—remember he's the laird; I say no more: honour to whom honour. It's a pleasure to obey a laird; or should be, to the young."

"Well, sir," said I, "it may be; and I'll promise you I'll try to make it so."

"Why, very well said," replied Mr. Campbell, heartily. "And now to come to the material, or (to make a quibble) to the immaterial. I have here a little packet which contains four things." He tugged it, as he spoke, and with some great difficulty, from the skirt pocket of his coat. "Of these four things, the first is your legal due: the little pickle money for your father's books and plenishing, which I havebought (as I have explained from the first) in the design of reselling at a profit to the incoming dominie. The other three are gifties that Mrs. Campbell and myself would be blithe of your acceptance. The first, which is round, will likely please ye best at the first off-go; but, 0 Davie, laddie, it's but a drop of water in the sea; it'll help you but a step, and vanish like the morning. The second, which is flat and square and written upon, will stand by you through life, like a good staff for the road, and a good pillow to your head in sickness. And as for the last, which is cubical, that'll see you, it's my prayerful wish, into a better land."

With that he got upon his feet, took off his hat, and prayed a little while aloud, and in affecting terms, for a young man setting out into the world; then suddenly took me in his arms and embraced me very hard; then held me at arm's length, looking at me with his face all working with sorrow; and then whipped about, and crying good-bye to me, set off backward by the way that we had come at a sort of jogging run. It might have been laughable to another; but I was in no mind to laugh. I watched him as long as he was in sight; and he never stopped hurrying, nor once looked back. Then it came in upon my mind that this was all his sorrow at my departure; and my conscience smote me hard and fast, because I, for my part, was overjoyed to get away out of that quiet countryside, and go to a great, busy house, among rich and respected gentlefolk of my own name and blood.

"Davie, Davie," I thought, "was ever seen such black ingratitude? Can you forget old favours and old friends at the mere whistle of a name? Fie, fie; think shame!"

And I sat down on the boulder the good man had just left, and opened the parcel to see the nature of my gifts. That which he had called cubical, I had never had much doubt of; sure enough it was a little Bible, to carry in a plaidneuk. That which he had called round, I found to be a shilling piece; and the third, which was to help me so wonderfully both in health and sickness all the days of my life, was a little piece of coarse yellow paper, written upon thus in red ink:

To make Lilly of the Valley Water.—Take the flowers of lilly of the valley and distil them in sack, and drink a spooneful or two as there is occasion. It restores speech to those that have the dumb palsey. It is good against the Gout; it comforts the heart and strengthens the memory; and the flowers, put into a Glasse, close stopt, and set into ane hill of ants for a month, then take it out, and you will find a liquor which comes from the flowers, which keep in a vial; it is good, ill or well, and whether man or woman.

 

And then, in the minister's own hand, was added:

 

Likewise for sprains, rub it in; and for the cholic, a great spooneful in the hour.

To be sure, I laughed over this; but it was rather tremulous laughter; and I was glad to get my bundle on my staff's end and set out over the ford and up the hill upon the farther side; till, just as I came on the green drove-road running wide through the heather, I took my last look of Kirk Essendean, the trees about the manse, and the big rowans in the kirkyard where my father and my mother lay.

All new material in this book copyright © 1988 by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Crossley reads this tale as its author might have. Adept at the language of the region and times, Crossley deftly brings one of literature's best-known stories to the ears of contemporary listeners." —-AudioFile

Meet the Author

Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish adventure author best known for "Treasure Island". Other works include "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Kidnapped".

TONY EVANS started his career as a high school English teacher, and has a Masters Degree in Literary Research from Lancaster University. After working as a Deputy Headteacher in Bristol he became a school inspector and educational consultant, based in Leeds. He is now a full-time writer and lives with his wife in the Yorkshire Dales. Tony has a particular interest in Victorian literature and culture. His publications include a collection of detective stories set in late nineteenth century England, as well as co-authorship of a book on steam locomotives and several books in the Real Reads series of re-told classics.

SARAH WIMPERIS began painting at a very early age as a result of family influences and an inability to spell. She studied fine art at Falmouth School of Art, exhibited with the Portal Gallery, then travelled the world, including China, Russia, Israel and Norway, painting all the way. She returned to Cornwall, raised a lot of children, painted murals for a while, then became a professional illustrator. Since 2008 she has exhibited regularly at the Beside the Wave Gallery in Falmouth, which she now manages.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 13, 1850
Date of Death:
December 3, 1894
Place of Birth:
Edinburgh, Scotland
Place of Death:
Vailima, Samoa
Education:
Edinburgh University, 1875

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Kidnapped 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 140 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a very good story and wasn't sure what the writing from that period would be like. I am very happy that I took the chance and downloaded the story. I usually read fiction crime thrillers and this book kept my attention and I read it as quickly as I do my other choices. The story follows a nice line and gives a nice packaged ending that one would expect, no real twists or anything of that kind.
DerMeister More than 1 year ago
Stevenson, well within his element in regards to the setting, re-demonstrates his mastery as a storyteller with Kidnapped; but unlike his works such as Treasure Island this compelling adventure story's plot and thematic elements are woven in the context of a real historical conflict. Through this spirited depiction of the Whig vs. Jacobite struggle, Stevenson is definitely trying to redeem the image of the Highlands that the English had strived so hard to tarnish back in his day. This is totally comprehensible in characters like Alan and James of the Glens who both exhibit noble manners and honor that was allegedly uncharacteristic of catholic scots in the 1700s. What's truly interesting in this book, however, is the centrality of the unlikely friendship between David Balfour and Alan Stewart. Despite their incredibly divergent upbringings (a rebellious catholic highlander and a goody-good protestant whig) they are able to transcend their own misapprehensions and prevail over the sprawling cast of cutthroats looking to sell them into bondage. Throughout this plot steeped in treachery and redemption, there are instances of benevolence and compassion revealed by the majority of misfortunes they experience, like when Alan loses their money to Cluny MacPherson. I think it's inventive how he uses the screw-ups to shed light on how important it is to swallow pride and resolve problems with the people you truly respect. I was also impressed with how the events of the story also preserved the importance of virtues like loyalty and valor, which surface from time to time in the highlander characters such as Macrob who continue the resistance for justice against English oppressors. Another entertaining aspect of the story is Stevenson's use of motifs in tying together its major plot elements. Much like the "hands" motiff in Treasure Island, Stevenson is very consistent in using themes like inheritance, especially primogeniture, to impress upon the reader what was principal or significant back in those times. All and all, it is a very exciting read and especially appealing to anyone of Scottish descent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt the urge to write this reveiew after reading one written March 21, 2011, in which the writer of the review was reading Kidnapped for school, and complained of the length (236 pages) and the oldfashioned writing. I have two things to say to that. One, when was written people, as individuals were much smarter than they are now, being able to read very complex books with difficult language, and comprehend them perfectly. Two, I happen to have read Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens, which for your information is 755 pages long and i read it cover to cover. I am twelve. For those who want to know whether this is a good book or not, I highly reccomend it. Best of luck on your own readinging adventure! SGP
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best audio books I have ever heard. The narration is outstanding and great theater. The old English is beautiful (the old English is readily understood with a little thought - if the language daunts you, you might enjoy instead 'Goodnight Moon'.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book really touched my heart
squeelee More than 1 year ago
The story moves along and is so well told, I felt as though I were witnessing it first hand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the most boring book I have ever read. I get it that it is old English but the spelling could have been better. Any English teacher would have a field day with this one. Really bad
Anonymous 3 months ago
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
When the story begins, it finds a young man named David Balfour. He is seventeen years old and has lost both his parents. David is told to journey to the House of Shaws – it was his late father's wish. The House of Shaws is famous for its wealth. David, coming from a somewhat poor family cannot fathom the reason of why he must visit this mansion. Once he sets foots on his way, he is met by shady strangers, and he never knows who to trust. He gets caught in a trap of secrets that he doesn't even understand, but he must be quiet. Otherwise his life and his new friend Alan Breck's life are at stake. These two new comrades, even when not in agreeable moods must stick together if they are going to survive their trek through the lowlands and highlands of Scotland. I'd recommend "Kidnapped" to all ages over 13. Sometimes there seems to be a language barrier and it was hard to always understand what the characters were talking about. My copy of the book handily had a word glossary in the back (which I used frequently). From the very first page the story had me locked into it. Set sail with David Balfour and be prepared for adventure, intrigue, and a surprise or two along the way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walks down the street, reading....when all of a sudden 3 large masked men jump out of a black van and try to pull her in!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
&heart
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice story want to be nook friends?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rossette looked around happily. She breathed in the lovely feeling of Spring, and smiled. Spring was her favourite time of year! She saw the green grass bending in the slightly cool breeze, the water in a nearby river sang a merry song as the birds flapped gaily along with the flitting butterflies. <p> She was slightly aware of somebody following her, but she paid that nearly no attention, because she was busy enjoying the last day of Spring. <p> She took a quick look at her watch, and slung her backpack over one shoulder and ran to school. <p> She arrived, breathless. Nobody was in the playground. 'Am I late?' She wondered. She ventured into the hallway, and saw nobody there either. 'Oh no! I AM late! Should I hide?' She stuffed her belongings into her locker, and ran towards the empty staircase. 'Goodness me! What will the teacher say if...' and there she stopped, for all the lights went out. An eerie silence filled the hall, and she hear a voice. <p> "Rossette...you shall make a lovely ghost, and your head shall look lovely on my wall..." <p> Then, she blacked out. <p> ---+++---+++---+++---+++---+++---+++---+++ <p> THANKS FOR READING PART ONE!!!!!!!!! Please tell me if you would like part two. Comments are welcome. By:Grey bytheway part two will till be here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
escaped
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and it is very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stays here to stay away from her husband and the deer
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to pick a book on a list i was given to in class and then write an essay on the book i read, if the book was classic or not. I didnt want to read this book at 1st but i couldnt put the book down once i started. I loved this book it might seem odd but it was really good. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book really doesn't require a big introduction, it's a timeless classic that has lasted through the years. To the 8th grader would rather drink poison than read this book. I'm 62 years old and I first read this book when I was 4years old. As one ages they find old books like these to be companions and friends. I'm sorry you feel forced to read such treasured book. However, I've found that if I just read the book, I'll get involved in it and start to enjoy it. Sort of like the twilight books that I would rather eat glass than be forced to read them. ...smile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She looked at emberkit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting historical novel about the Scottish rebellion under Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago