In Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped, David Balfour, a lowland Scotsman, is seeking to claim his inheritance from his Uncle Ebenezer, the Lord of Shaws. Ebenezer first tries to kill David, then has him shanghaied aboard a ship sailing to America, where presumably he will be sold into slavery.

David befriends a rebel highlander, Alan Breck of the Stewart clan. The rebels, or Jacobites, were trying to bring back James II, and then "Bonnie Prince Charlie", from exile, but were defeated in 1746. Alan is an outlaw and his life is forfeit if he is caught.

Their ship is wrecked, and David and Alan go on the run across Scotland; Alan needs to get to France to be safe, and David wants to go to Edinburgh to see a lawyer. The two witness the assassination of a prominent Campbell -- a loyalist clan -- and are suspected of murder.

The rest of the plot is basically their adventures as they hightail it across the highlands.

Three things stand out in my mind about this book: it's a great adventure story for kids, its characters have interesting depths, and the Scots dialect is fun to decipher.

The sequel, Catriona, is a good read, but is more long-winded, more like a twisted romance novel, and has thicker dialect.

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