This is my favorite book in the whole world. I probably read it for the first time before the age of 10. I think I probably haven't read it in a few years, but I read it just now for the Heart of a Child Challenge (see sidebar). And I loved it just the same as when I read it the first time about 13 years ago.
The story is intriguing the whole time. You always wonder what's coming next. Who is the Captain really? What is it that Black Dog and Blind Pew are after? Is Long John Silver, the pleasant and helpful ship's cook the same one legged man that Billy Bones was so afraid of? Is Dick in the beginning and Dick in the end the same person? Why would the doctor give up the stockade?
This is just one of those simple, great adventure stories. The adventure never ends. Sure, most of the characters are not very well rounded (except maybe Long John Silver), but you still care for them. Even one or two of the pirates (for some reason I have a special place in my heart for Dick, the young pirate who was so in awe of Long John. And I try to believe he didn't die of his fever when left on the island).
I don't know. I could talk about this book forever, but I'll just leave it at this. It gets the job done.