Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson
277 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Queen Lucy of Narnia

A classic and entertaining story with some violence, alcohol and bad language.


Jim Hawkins lives with his family at the Admiral Benbow, but things change dramatically when Billy Bones, the pirate, comes in and decides to stay. By coincidence, Jim finds an old treasure map. This will lead him on an extraordinary journey with dangers he never could have imagined. He and his friends set sail for finding the island from the map, and more important, finding the treasure itself. But the journey is not easy, since there are pirates among them. The dangers are everywhere and they never know who they can trust. The island will be everything but what they thought.


It takes a rather long time for the reader to know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. There are many pirates that steal, lie, and cheat for their own ends. They show no remorse for their actions, and they seem rather heartless. The good characters are good through the whole story, even though they don’t always tell the whole truth. There are a few exceptions, though, of characters who seems good and bad at the same time. Jim Hawkins, the main character, tries to do what is best, but it doesn't always go as planned. He goes away in the middle of the night and steals a boat to kill somebody. At one time he overhears a conversation. One other important character, Long John Silver, is very mysterious. At times, he seems like a wonderful person and other times he is downright bad. So the division of good and bad in this story is a bit blurry and the reader should be aware of that.

Spiritual Content

It seems like all the characters in this book are Christians, even though it might not appear that way the whole time. Spirituality doesn’t play a very important role, but it’s mentioned several times throughout the book. Later in the story, a man talks about not being able to eat Christian food, but nothing more is explained except his statement and mumbling something about eating goats. There is also a character or two that says that there is an Afterlife that probably is safe. Towards the end, it’s told that a man was cutting in the last page of a Bible. It’s clearly told that it was very bad of him and that God would punish him. After this, he prays.


There are a lot of battles, shooting, violence, and talk about killing each other. An arm is twisted and nearly broken. Somebody draws a knife at an early point, while another character dies after being stepped on by horses. When they arrive at the island several characters are shot. Parts of this are described. There are many battles in the rest of the book. Some of them are barely mentioned but most are well described. It’s also told that a character kills a pirate while he is asleep. Later, they also explain what will happen if a pirate does not follow the pirate law: they will be killed in some way, if they don’t kill themselves. The crew also sees a couple of dead men on their voyage.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Alcohol plays a very important part in this story. Some parts are innocent while others are very serious and lead to big fights. At times, the company takes some wine because they want something nice to drink. In others situations, it seems like they do it because they need a kind of refreshment. The pirates seems rather addicted to alcohol, and the especially rum. They have a secret store and they are often drunk in the evenings. It’s not described very well, except when two characters end up in a fight where one of them dies. Two men die falling off the boat after having too much rum. A couple men smoke, but it’s not described in detail.

Sexual Content

There are mentioned a few marriages, and a joke is made about how one of the sailors just joined the voyage so he would get away from his wife.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

There are episodes with very bad swearing. It’s mostly the pirates that use bad words and mostly when they are drunk. You should especially be aware of words like h***.


The book itself is easy to understand, even though parts can be confusing to younger readers. The plot is quite interesting and you feel like you want to continue to read. It’s not only because of the story itself, but also because the characters develop and grow with the story. The morals, on the other hand, can be a bit troublesome at points, so the reader should bear that in mind. The spiritual parts are not bad, and it seems like it’s written by an author with at least some understanding of Christianity. The alcohol content and the language are rather bad, though; also, the violence can be a bit much at times, and you should perhaps have a strong stomach. If you look at it all, it’s a classic story that should be read, but only if you are aware of the bad content.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 3
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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