SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS follows four children who dream of escaping from the tedium of a summer holiday. When finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake, they are overjoyed. But when they arrive, they discover they may not be alone and a desperate yet whimsical battle for ownership of the island ensues, where both skill and luck play a hand. Simultaneously, the dangers of an adult world, on the brink of war, encroach on their paradise and intertwine with their lives, in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies. The children must band together from both groups, learn skills of survival, responsibility, and the all-important value of friendship to save a family member. Steeped in the wonder of a child’s imagination and set against a breathtaking backdrop, this is an exhilarating adaptation of a treasured classic.
By Tab Olsen
Readers of all ages have been enraptured with Arthur Ransome’s classic tale of adventure and friendship, Swallows and Amazons, since it was published in 1930. The author’s laidback storytelling style and his appealing characters make this book just as enjoyable (perhaps even more so) for adults as well as kids. With a thrilling narrative that combines treasure hunting, swashbuckling, and the carefree exploits of childhood, the story has undoubtedly stood the test of time – even receiving a film adaptation as recently as 2016.
If you need lots of action and excitement, the book probably isn’t for you, but it’s recommended for anyone captivated by the world of wonder and imagination. The story gives readers a wonderful sense of time and place. The characters in Swallows and Amazons are also very relatable and likable despite now being 87 years old!
Swallows and Amazons is about girls and boys working together, at a time when girls didn’t do things such as playing around in boats and fighting pretend pirates. The lessons about sailing, seamanship, maritime adventures and traditions are worth their weight in (pirate) gold. The examples of self-reliance and teamwork are inspiring.
Swallows and Amazons is a charming classic that my family read aloud together years ago. It’s actually the first title in a 12-book series, which I still like to re-read during summer vacations. It reminds me of my days at camp when I was younger.
One of the main draws of Swallows and Amazons are the vividly beautiful environments the author describes. The best part about this? You can visit them!
An admirer of the Lake District and its natural splendor, Ransome combined aspects of many places including Windermere and Coniston Water, to craft the vivid world that the protagonists of his novels explore.