Dear Book Lovers,

Today’s guest reviewer, Bruce McGregor, recommends a terrific classic. I just finished it myself. It will surprise you if you have only seen the film. Please note that we recommend it for young adult readers. The writing style would, I think, discourage younger readers and the references to cannibalism might be too much.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is the classic young adult novel that you think you know, but do you really?

Restless and discontent young Robinson leaves home against the wise and loving advice of his father. He has a series of misadventures and is rescued from each of them. Yet, at his core he is still restless. While sailing on a slave ship bound for Africa a tornado destroys the vessel and leaves him the sole survivor on a deserted but beautiful island.

After retrieving many provisions from the wreckage including a Bible, Robinson begins building a home and providing for his needs. Alone he ponders the meaning of his life. He soon turns to the scriptures, repenting of his past and joyously turning his life to Jesus, the Son of David. As he grows in his knowledge of God, Robinson realizes that he would rather be on this deserted island with God than anywhere else without Him and that God brought him there providentially. The book has many passages of rich scriptural insight that make it worthwhile reading.

It is difficult reading at times, however, and Defoe repeats himself and forgets details. It does not flow like modern novels having been written in 1719. Still I recommend it with passion.

A final note, it must be read in the original version. Abridged versions edit God out of the story and some versions don’t admit that they are abridged. Look for the Norton Critical Edition or The Limited Edition 1930 by Heritage Press.

Bruce McGregor helped his wife homeschool their two children from K through 12 by reading many books with them. It was his delight. He now co-leads an Old Testament adult Bible study and enjoys studying that and ancient history.