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Peter Duck: A Treasure Hunt in the Caribbees (Godine Storyteller) Paperback – May 1, 1987


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Series: Godine Storyteller
  • Paperback: 414 pages
  • Publisher: David R Godine (May 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879236604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879236601
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,268,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In many ways Peter Duck is the best of the series. --Guardian

This is the stuff of real imagination which might so easily happen . . . all the details are true to life, the ship is a real ship, with all its sails and rigging made familiar, and the voyage which those happy children make to southern seas and coral islands is the beautiful possibility of daring and freedom become living and credible. --Listener

?He makes a tale of adventure a handbook to adventure.? ?Observer

?There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating. --From the Trade Paperback edition

From the Back Cover

“He makes a tale of adventure a handbook to adventure.” –Observer

“There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating.” –TLS --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and went to school at Rugby. He was in Russia in 1917, and witnessed the Revolution, which he reported for the Manchester Guardian.

After escaping to Scandinavia, he settled in the Lake District with his Russian wife where, in 1929, he wrote Swallows and Amazons. And so began a writing career which has produced some of the real children's treasures of all time. In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for his book, Pigeon Post.

Ransome died in 1967. He and his wife Evgenia lie buried in the churchyard of St Paul's Church, Rusland, in the southern Lake District.



Photography (c) Arthur Ransome's Literary Executors & courtesy of the Brotherton Collection, Leeds University Library

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I read these books as a child and loved them.
Lyn J
His vivid descriptions of the various scenes are extremely good, and the unexpected and clever plot twists are very satisfying and enjoyable.
Quacks0
This perfectly written pirate adventure story ranks favorably with Treasure Island.
William D. Wakeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jean-Francois Virey on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
"It was enough to make anybody happy, just to be afloat and sailing, to see the green shores racing past, to see the bubbling wake slipping away astern, to see all the sails drawing, to hear now and then a gentle, low thrumming in the shrouds, to see the sunlight sparkle in the spray thrown out to leeward by the bows of the little schooner." - Arthur Ransome
Though listed as the third volume in Arthur Ransome's *Swallows and Amazons* series, *Peter Duck* is chronologically the second adventure of this group of four plus two children, taking place in the Winter of 1930/31, a few months after the events narrated in *Swallows and Amazons*.
As its subtitle indicates - "A Treasure Hunt in the Caribbees" - *Peter Duck* is a book of much greater geographical scope than the first volume: instead of merely pretending to be explorers and pirates, the six children, accompanied by the Amazons' uncle, Captain Flint, and a benevolent sea dog, Peter Duck, cross the Atlantic in search of a real treasure really buried by real pirates.
Every single event in the first book seems to be reproduced here, but on a much greater scale: the ships are now full-sized, the lake is drowned in an ocean, the island can no longer be swimmed around, the petty thieves have turned into murdering thugs, and England's summer rains are drenched by a tropical storm.
Even though the plot is more contrived and far-fatched, with the elements playing a rather providential - and therefore improbable - role, the tone is generally more realistic, as the children are no longer shielded from the more dangerous forces at work in the world. They even befriend a young, abused pauper, Bill, whom Ransome, in a Dickensian vein, portrays more lovingly than any of the recurring characters.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steve Benner VINE VOICE on December 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
This volume in Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series finds the Swallows and Amazons in rare old adventuring form, sailing off to the distant Caribbean (together with grown-ups Captain Flint and the original Old Salt Tar himself, Peter Duck) in search of buried pirate treasure! Along the way, they have to contend with numerous hazards, from sailing in thick fog in the English Channel, to enduring earthquake and tempest, as well as fending off a shipload of villainous pirates intent on getting their hands on the same treasure. If this all sounds rather more daring and far-fetched than can be found in other "Swallows and Amazons" stories, there is good reason for this - although the explanation is not revealed until the next book, "Swallowdale". (This latter was originally published as the second volume of the series but, for obvious reasons, is best left until after you've read "Peter Duck"!)
Despite its somewhat fanciful content, Ransome keeps the tale eminently believable and builds the excitement gradually, drawing the reader inexorably into the events that unfold. You really do just have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next! By the latter stages, it becomes impossible to put down.
Sprinkled with numerous delightful pen and ink illustrations (charmingly credited to the Swallows and Amazons themselves!) this book is a lovely production. In short, it is nothing short of a little masterpiece that should be on everyone's reading list.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I remember reading Peter Duck as a child and being a little disappointed. As a child the adventures of the Swallows & Amazons was best when they were as far away from adults as possible. Battling Uncle Jim / Captain Flint for his houseboat was one thing - going on a sea voyage with him in charge was quite another.
Re-reading the series as an adult, however, I see this in a whole new perspective. Simply put the actual story, and the story-telling, racks amongst the highest in the series. The scope of the book, running from the mouth of the broads which we come to love later in the series, right down to Crab Island in the Caribbean is wonderful. The intrigue and adventure is at a higher level to match too.
Arthur Ransome is one of the story tellers who believes in dealing with "bad people" head on - and in this tale, Black Jake and his crew are really some of the most despicable characters in children's literature. We always hope they will meet a sticky end. However, the writing is a little out of date now in terms of some derogatory words used for black people and Spaniards. I believe such language can be used as an important educational tool to explain why we no longer use these words (it should be noted that it is the rough characters that use these terms).
The book never comments on this as being "fictional". Of course they are all fictional tales, but this is fiction within fiction because we find out in other books that this was a tale made up by everyone. However, it is still written very realisitically and anyone with a love for sailing will find the chapters about the setup of the boat or the sailing down the North Sea and the English Channel wonderful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Swallows and Amazon series is remarkable for its realism; there's nothing stopping my kids or yours from adventures of similar scope and daring.
Peter Duck, however, differs. While it is a grand adventure, the kids travel too far into a dangerous world. Too-daring adventures, cutthroat pirates, attempted murder of a child, violent death, earthquakes and waterspouts; this book explores the shores of violent fantasy.
Unfortunately, there is no delineation between the "reality" of the other books, and the fantasy of Peter Duck. You might find it tame compared with television, but consider skipping Peter Duck in a first reading of the series.
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