Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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*****= An all-time favorite
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by Robert Louis Stevenson

Reviewed August 16, 2003.
Many editions are available.  218 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF STE).

The book Storybook Travels recommended Kidnapped as a book that takes the reader all over Scotland, so I decided to read it aloud to my 8-year-old before our vacation there.

The book didn’t go over nearly as well as Treasure Island, by the same author, had done.  There’s lots of dialect and archaic language, so the going is a bit rough.  The plot is exciting, but the action happens slowly and with lots of build-up, so it takes some slogging through.

David Balfour goes to visit his uncle with a note from his dead father.  His uncle acts very strangely, and soon David is kidnapped and put on a ship to America to be sold as a slave.  The ship doesn’t make it to America, and David falls in with Alan Breck, a Jacobite soldier who had fought for Scotland, but is now wanted by the English.  They must cross Scotland for David to get back home.

This is a good book, but would probably be better read silently, so you could go more quickly through certain slow-moving sections.  Anyway, it was fun to read about the Isle of Mull when we were on the Isle of Mull, and to point out Queensferry as we passed it on the bridge to Edinburgh.  My son named his town in the Animal Crossing video game after Queensferry, so something must have sunk in.  It did add to the charm of our visit to Scotland to be in the setting of a book.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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