Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

During the Golden Age of Piracy, treasure was almost the most valuable thing to everyone; pirates, commoners, and rulers. Everyone loved treasure, and they were willing to do anything for it, even kill others. This classic novel does not disagree with that idea, and it does not disappoint readers who dare to board the boat which leads to Treasure Island. 

The book starts off with Jim Hawkins, a young man living with his parents and working at Admiral Benbow, a bar. Jim is then forced to let a blind pirate named Black Dog into the Admiral Benbow to speak with Captain Billy Bones, Black Dog’s former captain. But, of course, pirates are known to be greedy and that was exactly the story with those two buccaneers. A couple minutes after Jim left the scene, they both drew their cutlasses and got into a full fight which led to Black Dog running off and the Captain injured. 

A couple days later, Jim gains some hard experiences with the deaths of his father, and his friend, Captain Billy Bones. Right after the Captain’s death, Black Dog and his crew of pirates all come to steal Captain Billy Bones’s treasure map, but it is not there. Jim Hawkins was one step ahead. Jim and Dr Livesey gather a crew of their friends, and get on their ship and start sailing to the Island with buried treasure. 

This novel teaches readers about betrayal, cooperation, and loyalty. In times where Jim was struggling with what decision to make, he always made the right one, the one that showed his values. In this story, Jim Hawkins learned a lot of life lessons through the experiences he had. Treasure Island is an exciting novel with lots of plot twists which makes it impossible to put down. This book will not make you regret reading it, and while reading it, you will also be on a ship, sailing to Reading Island, where you will find that magnificence that classics have behind them. 

I rate this book a 9/10 because it was a great book. The only negative about the book is how slowly it moves throughout the plot. Treasure Island is an amazing novel! I really recommend this book.

-Mert A.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

The Million Pound Note by Mark Twain

Man with a Million (1954) - IMDb

The Million Pound Note is a novella written by American writer Mark Twain and published in 1893. It tells the adventures of Henry Adams, an American boy who is an impoverished clerk in London. Two rich brothers in London made a bet to lend Henry an uncashable million-dollar note to see how he would wind up in a month. Instead of starving or being arrested, Henry became rich and won the heart of a beautiful lady. This article reproduces the satire and humor in the master’s novels with slightly exaggerated artistic techniques and exposes the money-worship ideology in the early 20th century.

At the beginning of the novel, Henry floats too far out to sea in his small sailboat. When he arrived in London, Henry had no one with him. After using up his last dollar, he was left without food and clothing. While Henry loitered hungrily in Portland Square, a child threw a pear with a bite thrown into the gutter. Henry stared hungrily at the muddy treasure, drooling. Just as the reader was nervous that Henry was about to grab the “treasure”, “Please come in” — just five short words, like a bolt from the blue, released the reader’s nerves. Henry’s life changed.

The young man in the novel is a true portrayal of Mark Twain. In Nevada, Mark Twain was a journalist in Virginia City, Nevada’s gold and silver region. Mark Twain was not immune to the gold rush, and he was sensitive to rumors and new opportunities. At that time, many miners who had discovered gold and silver mines were selling their shares in New York City to raise money, and Mark Twain invested all his savings, and even all his royalties, in buying silver mines.

-Coreen C.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist is about a young boy named Santiago who hears about buried treasure and actually discovers it is his personal legend. He must go and find his personal legend to fully complete his life.

The book adds a new component in books that I’ve never read before, a philosophical element. When Santiago is on his journey he meets an Alchemist. An alchemist is a person who can turn lead into gold. In this book he possess the Philosophers Stone and the Elixir of Life. They give him the power to turn lead into gold and give him immortality.

They have many philosophical conversations about life attracts life and how most of the times people don’t believe the ridiculous things people say. Most of the things the Alchemist say is actually true. There are many sequences in the book that seem really weird but most of the time they are actually pretty cool. At first usually he has to channels the soul of the world and use it to do the amazing things he does

At the start of the book there is a main idea that you can be whatever you want to be. You don’t have to listen to your parents or anyone else. If they say one thing but you say the other then go what you say. Then as the book begins to fold out you start making progress to your treasure. There were many times that Santiago said that this journey is worth nothing but truthfully at the end it was worth every penny.

He has met many people such as the crystal merchant, Fatima his love of his life, and The Englishman who first tried to do alchemy. Later on in the book it is realized that the true treasure that lied at the end of the pyramids was the journey itself.

The Alchemist is a great read if you ever have the chance you should read it

-Max U.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. The book is also available to download for free from Overdrive