Anyone can write an adventure story. All you really need to sell a few copies is a swordfight, maybe a storm at sea, fierce pirates or desert bandits, and probably a fire from which a pretty girl is rescued. If you can write that's great too, but even if you can't someone out there will doubtless read your tale and maybe pen fan fiction in response.
Or maybe they'll pen fan fiction and call it Treasure Island. For decades, Robert Michael Ballantyne was considered one of the best English writers of adventure stories for boys; he was so good, in fact, that he inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to pen his most famous novel about greedy pirates and the resourceful cabin boy, Jim Hawkins.
Let's be clear about this, too: anyone can write an adventure story, but few could write one the way Ballantyne did, and almost nobody else would be able to write as many as he did using his methods. He wasn't content to read about a distant land and think up exciting plots related to it—he had to experience what he wanted to write about firsthand.
So before he wrote The Pirate City, he disguised himself and lived among Algerian pirates to get a feel for his subject. For the book Fighting the Flames he did a stint as a London firefighter; he wrote a book called Deep Down about tin miners in Cornwall, among whom he lived before he felt able to write about them; he spent time in a lighthouse before writing The Lighthouse.
Adventure enthusiasts will love this authenticity; Christian readers will love Ballantyne's Christian ideals, dedication to manliness, and Reformed theology that all explicitly appear in the 80 books he wrote. A thoroughly Victorian Englishman, he nevertheless opposed the slave trade, finding his biblical convictions more compelling than the jingoist rhetoric that seduced so many of his peers.
Having said all that, Ballantyne shouldn't be read primarily for his literary value. He was no Dickens (or Stevenson, for that matter), but then again, that's not really the point. His prose is vigorous and muscular, explicitly Christian, and inspiring. (It should also be noted that he grew up in the company of Sir Walter Scott, a friend and client of his father.) We hope you enjoy these adventure stories as much as we have, and that your boys grow into men who reflect the virtues and strengths of Ballantyne's heroes.