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Robinson Crusoe

By Daniel Defoe

“Poor Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Where have you been? How come you here?”

– Poll the Parrot

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Would you like to read ‘Robinson Crusoe’ with your teen’s book club? Download our BTB Book Club guide for teens below.

Book Summary


Classic Literature, Realistic/Biographical Fiction


Providence, Self-Discovery, Reptence, Adventure, Contentment


10 years +


Robinson Crusoe yearns for the sea and adventure, finding his middle-class life and prospects in York, England, dull and unappealing. Giving in to the temptation to travel abroad to seek riches and glory, Robinson despises all wise counsel, as well as his conscience, to fulfill his desires. With a sense of foreboding and dread looming over him, Crusoe pushes those feelings aside and embarks on his journey. For a short time, he is successful, but his success is short-lived, and he finds himself shipwrecked, stranded, and entirely alone on an unknown island.

This is an adventure tale that explores the providence of God, self-discovery through forced isolation, contentment in all circumstances, and the value of true repentance.

Content Warning:

Robinson Crusoe was first published in 1719, a time when culture and language were very different from today. Within the pages of this book, you will come across outdated and offensive terminology for people groups, as well as abhorrent practices of selling and buying people for slavery. It’s important to consider this while reading, and to always remember that every human being has been made in God’s image, and is, therefore, inherently valuable; all men and women, no matter their gender, heritage, skin colour, or abilities, are all equal in God’s sight.   

In Chapter 14, Crusoe rescues a native man from a cannibalistic tribe. There is violence and men are killed. You may consider reading this chapter aloud with your child or teen, or ensure you discuss it with them afterward, due to the heavy or possibly distressing content.

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