The Coral Island

By Robert Michael Ballantyne
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The Coral Island is a novel written by Scottish juvenile fiction author Robert Michael Ballantyne. The Coral Island was voted as one of the top twenty Scottish novels in the 2006 15th International World Wide Web Conference.
The story The Coral Island is written as a first person narrative from the perspective of one of three boys shipwrecked on the coral reef of a large but uninhabited Polynesian island, 15-year-old Ralph Rover. He and his companions – 18-year-old Jack Martin, and 14-year-old Peterkin Gay – are the sole survivors from the ship. At first their life is idyllic; food, in the shape of fruits, fish and wild pigs, is plentiful on The Coral Island, and using their only possessions, a broken telescope, an iron-bound oar and a small axe, they fashion a shelter and even construct a small boat...

The Coral Island by Robert Michael Ballantyne: Their first contact with other humans comes after several months when they observe two large outrigger canoes land on the beach. The two groups of Polynesians they contain engage in battle, and the three boys intervene to defeat the attackers, earning them the gratitude of the chief Tararo. The Polynesians leave, and the three boys are alone once more.

Less welcome visitors then arrive in the shape of British pirates, who make a living trading or stealing sandalwood. The three boys conceal themselves in a hidden cave, but Ralph is captured when he sets out to see if the pirates have left and is taken aboard the pirate schooner. Ralph strikes up an unexpected friendship with one of the pirates, Bloody Bill, and when they call at an island to trade for more wood he meets Tararo again. On the island he sees many facets of its culture, including the popular sport of surfing, the sacrificing of babies to eel gods, rape, and cannibalism... (Summary from Wikipedia)

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