The Novels Written By Robert Louis Stevenson Have Captivated The Imaginations Of Young And Old Alike Ever Since They Were First Written

Robert Louis Stevenson has written many works of literature and poetry which have become part and parcel to our culture. Although I have always loved Stevenson’s poetry—The Land of Counterpane is definitely one of my favorite poems—I was delightfully surprised when I was teaching one of my little sisters 1st grade that the poem that they used for their first prose memorization was Robert Louis Stevenson's At The Seaside. Needless to say, these poems have a pleasant rhythm that make them very easy to memorize and remember years down the road.

Other favorite poems include My Shadow and The Land of Storybooks. A Child's Garden of Verses contains many of his poems, most of which relate to childish hopes, dreams and fears.

Robert Louis Stevenson

And what young boy hasn't read Treasure Island? In this novel, readers are taken to a mysterious island where a famous pirate is said to have buried an immense treasure and murdered all of the mates that helped him bury it. One map is passed off to the next captain when the pirate dies. The other mates dupe a few gentlemen into financing the treasure hunt and they bring along a young boy who suddenly finds himself embroiled in pirate treachery far from English shores.

Several movie adaptations have been made from this novel, our two favorite being the 1950 Disney version and the 1990 version with Charlton Heston starring as the slightly likable pirate, Long John Silver.

In the book Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson sweeps the reader to Scotland in 1751, six years after the Jacobite uprising. This adventure novel tells the story of David Balfour who travels through the lowlands as well as the highlands of Scotland with the outlaw to the crown, Alan Breck Stewart. Although the two have nothing in common they manage to build a unique friendship and end up sticking together through thick and thin.

The Most Endearing Robert Louis Stevenson Poem Of All Time, The Land of Counterpane

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head, 
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go, 
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills; 

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets 
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out, 
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

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1. Experience The Swashbuckling Adventure In This Film Version Of Treasure Island Starring Charlton Heston And Christian Bale

Treasure Island

There was many a man a'feared of Flint, but even Flint was a'feared o' Long John Silver!

Jump aboard the Hispaniola with Jim Hawkins (Christian Bale) and Long John Silver (a family-favorite actor: Charleton Heston) in the best film version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island!

When young Jim Hawkins finds the treasure map of one of the ambitious pirates of his age, he embarks on a treasure hunt with his friends Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey. 

They are going on this expedition as respectable gentlemen. The trouble is the men they hire happen to be pirates, eager to get their hands on the same treasure they pursue. If you enjoy a good swashbuckling adventure, you will love Treasure Island.

Don't forget to throw a pirate theme party if you have a young boy passionate about pirates! Click here to read all about the food ideas, decorations, and activities for this party theme!

Points to Consider: The Lord's name in vain is used in the beginning of the movie. With a movie ripper or VidAngel, this could easily be fixed. It is too bad that such good movies must be tainted with profane language.


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Outlaws of Ravenhurst the Movie

2. One Of The Best Fiction Books Set In Scotland Is Kidnapped: The Story About The Unique Friendship Between The Naïve Lowlander And The Experienced Highlander

Kidnapped is one of our favorite books about Scotland (besides Outlaws of Ravenhurst, of course). This story takes place in the lowlands and highlands of Scotland. The Jacobite Uprising has just settled down in 1751, with Scotsmen separating themselves into two groups.

Jacobites live as Scotsmen loyal to their “Bonnie Prince Charlie” who is living in France. The highlanders seem to have their own laws and follow their chieftains instead of the British government.

In the lowlands, the Whigs are loyal to the English king. The reader also gets a glimpse of the solitary islands and the wild and dangerous Scottish sea.

This adventurous epic introduces the reader to many characters while covering a large setting. In this adventure setting Robert Louis Stevenson introduces young David Balfour of Shaws and the doughty outlaw, Alan Breck Stewart. 

best books about Scotland

David is a young man whose parents have recently died. He is, being a lowlander, a Protestant Whig. After the death of his father, David finds out that he is a man of rich descent and entitled to a large estate called Shaws. He is determined to go and claim it.

It turns out that David has a misery uncle who is the custodian of Shaws. His uncle, Ebenezer Balfour, is not going to give David the estate easily and nothing would make him happier than to be rid of David altogether. He pays to have David kidnapped and taken to the Carolinas to be sold as a slave.

After being kidnapped by his selfish uncle, David finds himself getting farther and farther away from his goal and homeland. Working as a cabin boy for the captain of the ship the Covenant bound for America, David is not the only one who is in danger.

Alan Breck Stewart is a Highland Jacobite. He has many sharp skills such as sword fighting, piping, singing and finding his way in the mountains while dodging red coats.

He has fought in France and returns to Scotland a hunted man. His duty to his clan is to carry the rent from his chieftain to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Although he has many good traits, Alan is quite vain and gets easily offended.

Being the only survivor of a small boat run over by The Covenant, Alan Breck Stewart finds himself with rough men who are ready to murder anyone for the sum of money he has on him. 

Aboard this craft he meets David, and together they decide to help each other out of their mutual and imminent danger. The two suffer shipwreck, are separated and find each other again in an unhappy circumstance: only seconds after the murder of Collin Roy Campbell.

David Is Not The Only One In Danger.

The chance of them both being there for the murder causes them to both be suspects, and Alan and David must “take to the heather.” Dodging red coats and using secret hiding places, Alan and David finally make it to safety in the lowlands.

In this novel, Robert Louis Stevenson uses the characters to teach the reader loyalty, courage, forgiveness of enemies and friendship. Although David and Alan have many differences they stay loyal to their political parties. The book also portrays that even though you are at the losing end of an argument, it is good to stick to your principles.

The highlanders show a courageous spirit as they face hardships. In the book, David's initial reaction is to get even with his uncle, but in the end he forgives Ebenezer all his wrongs. At one point David says to Alan, “Opinion here or opinion there, it’s a kent (known) thing all Christianity forbids revenge.”

It's A Story About Loyalty, Courage, Forgiveness And Friendship 

David and Alan build a strong and unique friendship that never wavers despite their many differences. Loyalty, courage, forgiveness and friendship linger in the reader’s mind and help inspire him to develop these traits in his own life.

I personally liked this book because I am of Scottish decent, and I learned a lot about the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 through this novel. It also made me curious as to whether my family were Whigs or highlanders. I am proud to say they were highlanders.

Outlaws of Ravenhurst the Movie

3. The Librivox Audiobook Version Of Kidnapped Is Well Read And Perfect For Listening To In The Car Or Wherever You Like To Listen

Kidnapped2

This LibriVox recording of Kidnapped is very good. First it is a good length and can be listened to while driving for a long trip totaling about 8 hours. It is recorded by one person. He had good voices for each of the characters plus his Scottish brogue was good and he pronounced Scottish words well.

The speed of the recording is good and there are no background noises. The recording is very clear. Excellent quality.

4. A VeggieTales Adaptation Of A Robert Louis Stevenson Novel: The Strange Case Of Dr. Jiggle And Mr. Sly

Dr. Jiggle And Mr. Sly

Although I have never read the actual Stevenson novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I have seen the Veggietales version, The Strange Case of Dr. Jiggle And Mr. Sly.

And let me tell you: it is a STRANGE case!

Every night, the town doctor and friend of Mr. Butterbun (Scooter) and Mr. Pool (Larry the Cucumber), Dr. Jiggle (Jimmy Gourd), disappears and a "detestable, disco-dancing villain" comes out of the doctor's house and dances in complete silence before taking up his radio and retreating in equal silence.

Mr. Butterbun has figured it all out: the disco dancer, Mr. Sly, must be controlling the doctor, locking the poor man up while he escapes for his midnight revelry. 

Mr. Butterbun is determined to save the doctor from this villain and also see an end to magically appearing hands and feet (something very frightening when, as a VeggieTale character, you don't normally see them).

It turns out Mr. Sly is really Dr. Jiggle disguised in a tight costume to keep him from jiggling when he dances. Mr. Butterbun and Mr. Pool encourage him to believe that God loves him exactly the way He made him and he should dance and not care what other people think or say.

A super funny version of Robert Louis Stevenson's serious novel!

Adding to the comedy is the fact that Scooter is in the role of Mr. Butterbun and, if you know the VeggieTales characters, you know that Scooter is a Scottish carrot. Robert Louis Stevenson was also Scottish, which I think Scooter's casting gives a nod to.

Do Your Kiddos Love Watching The Christian Messages In VeggieTales Movies Too?

We have several suggestions for great Veggietales Christmas and Easter Movies, as well as a guide to throw your own VeggieTales themed birthday party!

5. Can't Get Enough Of Scottish Poetry? Find A Music Video Below Based On A Poem From Another Famous Scotch Poet

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Scot's Wha Hae is a song which celebrates the early Scots and their pride in their history. It was written by Robert Burns, the Bard of Scotland. For ideas to celebrate this Scottish poet, read all about how to host a Burns Supper here...

Of course, if you watch this video and know the real history of William Wallace's death, please forgive our ignorance when we were making the film.

We now all know that he was drawn and quartered for his resistance to the English invasion of his country. 

For another Scottish music video and to read more about Scottish history, visit this page...

We have also made a our first full length film celebrating Scotland, Outlaws of Ravenhurst. You can watch it free on our site now!

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