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We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(6) Tree Line

Crusoe is an adventure novel, sure, but it's an 18th-century adventure novel. The large blocks of text and occasional archaic spelling mean that this book can be tough stuff for some younger readers. Also remember, it's not all cannibals and shipwrecks: there are quite a few passages filled with Crusoe's spiritual reflections and loads of mundane details about his life on the island. Even experienced readers should proceed armed with readerly courage and determination.

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