Thursday, April 14, 2016

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome


It's summer in the Lake District and the four Walker children want to sail across the lake and claim an uninhabited island for their own. After getting permission from their mom and dad, who is over seas and sends OK by telegram, the children set off. They pack all their provisions, including food and tents, and sail to their island. Once camp is set up, they explore and find a evidence that someone has already been on the island. There don't seem to be any other people so they make the place their own.

In a few days, they find out who was previously on the island, when another sail boat goes by with a black pirate flag. It's the two Blackett girls, with their boat Amazon. The two declare a friendly war with each other, with the purpose of fighting the captain of a houseboat who fires his cannons at them.

The imagination of these children entertains them for the week or so they are out on the island. It's the kind of imagination I hope my children will have and the kind of book children would love because of how imaginative it is.

As a grown up, I wished for the ability to sail to my own island, make camp, and just hang out. Help was close by for the kids if they ever needed it and food readily available. Sounds like a dream to me!

This was such a charming book.

First Line: "Roger, aged seven, and no longer the youngest of the family, ran in wide zigzags, to and fro, across the steep field that sloped up from the lake to Holly Howe, the farm where they were staying for part of the summer holidays."


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