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Swallows and Amazons (Godine Storyteller) Paperback – July 16, 2010
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Clean and lively prose, with an earnest whimsy...The 12 books in the series are justly ranked as classics, standing with the children's stories of Kipling, Barrie and Grahame, and are far superior to those myriad children s books which look like books but are not as Ransome put it.-- The Telegraph
The author really does know how to write for children: in other words, he writes of what he himself delights in and so pleases without any effort both young and old. --The Nation
This book is both silvery present and golden retrospect. All that is tedious and sullen and deceptive vanishes in its sunniness as clouds vanish in the tempered air of a summer day. . . We think that the book will last, too, from edition unto edition. --Saturday Review
There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun which is delightful and stimulating. --Times Literary Supplement
About the Author
Arthur Ransome was born in 1884. 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 of England with his Russian wife where, in 1929, he wrote Swallows and Amazons. Thus began a writing career that has produced some of the best children s literature of all time.
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This book's greatest strength and weakness is that it lacked serious conflict and did not suck me in. I was able to put the book down...and I found that pleasant for a change, since I normally gulp in one sitting. I read some, put it down for a few days, went back and read some more. I wish that today's literature had not built up a desire in me and in so many others to have serious, high conflict. I'm glad the kids were never in grave danger or trying to save the world. They had adventures, but I was never terrified for their lives and just enjoyed their good-natured battles and explorations.
These books (Swallows and Amazons is the first in the series) were written about 80 years ago and the stories are still wonderful. I started reading the S&A books back in the mid-1960's when I was still in grade school. My mom had read them as a young girl and she got me started. I now own all 12 of the books in the series and I re-read them every couple years. Even though I know all the plot lines, Ransome tells such great stories that I always enjoy them as much as the first time I read them about 50 years ago. They're perfect for adventure lovers of any age!! Although you don't HAVE to read the books in order in order, it's better if you do as the author develops the existing characters and introduces new ones as he goes along so you get to know them. Swallowdale is the second in the series after Swallows and Amazons.
I would have given it a full 5 stars were it not for the fact that close to $10 is an absolute outrage for a kindle book which has been in publication since 1931.This is a classic in my opinion, and it's sad to think that price might prohibit some readers from purchasing it.
Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series are fabulous books. And Swallowdale is one of the best. It's well written, captivating, inspirational, uplifting, enjoyable and funny. The adventures of the main protagonists take any child on a wonderful journey of experiences most children dream about. Sailing, exploring the unknown, plotting with friends and allies against naughty grown ups, fishing, hiding, playing games...what more would any child want to do spend their summer? This series was written before WWII when children had no TVs and video games so they played outside. These books were always inspirational to me and I'm glad to say that they help inspire the same sense of adventure and appreciation for the outdoors in my children. I highly recommend this book.