Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Steven (1883)
Mostly narrated by young Jim Hawkins (a lad of 12), this is the classic tale of Pirates sailing the seas and a treasure map marked with a red X. Jim’s parents run a hotel / boarding house into which an aging sea man moves in. After some strange visitors, a map is found among his effects, and Jim is off with a group of men from the village in search of the treasure of Captain Flint. But they are not the only ones in pursuit of the map, and a number of Captain Flint’s old crew manages to join the crew (including Long John Silver, the ship’s cook) of the Hispaniola. With such dark characters aboard, its not long before treachery and treason begin and the men find them selves fighting not only for the treasure, but for their lives on a deserted island.
This story was originally published as a series of chapters in a magazine, before being combined into a novel. Although this is the classic work of pirate fiction, with slashing swords, adventure at sea and buried gold, somehow I had never got around to reading it, and felt it was about time. I thought some of the old English would be a bit difficult for younger readers, but the book is a classic and no Caribbean reading list would be complete without it. The story has been made into a number of movies, but I am most excited about seeing the Muppet Version – Muppet Treasure Island.