The Swiss Family Robinson is a Johann David Wyss novel about a Swiss family shipwrecked in the East Indies en route to Port Jackson, Australia. It was intended to teach Wyss' four sons about family values, good husbandry, the uses of the natural world and self-reliance. It includes adventures that are presented as a series of lessons in natural history and the physical sciences.
The Zermatt family is sailing from Europe to Australia when a great storm runs their ship aground on a reef. The ships crew takes to a lifeboat abandoning the family who find themselves within sight of a tropical island. The ship's cargo of livestock, dogs, guns & powder, carpentry tools, books, a disassembled pinnace, and provisions have survived. The family builds a raft, lashes livestock and the most valuable supplies to it, and paddles to the island, where they set up a temporary shelter.
From here the adventures abound as the family establishes a life on the island.