'I read the entire series of Arthur Ransome's children's books as a child and thought they were absolutely fantastic. They were full of adventure, all sorts of exciting things happened and they were truly inspirational' Ellen MacArthur
'Swallows and Amazons for ever!'
The Walker children - also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship's Boy Roger - set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows And Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.
About the Author
Arthur Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884. He had an adventurous life - as a baby in he was carried by his father to the top of the Old Man of Coniston, a peak that is 2,276ft high! He went to Russia in 1913 to study folklore and in 1914, at the start of World War I he became a foreign correspondent for the Daily News. In 1917 when the Russian Revolution began he became a journalist and was a special correspondent of the Guardian. He played chess with Lenin and married Trotsky's personal secretary, Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina. On their return to England, he bought a cottage near Windermere in the Lake District and began writing children's stories. In a 1958 author's note, Ransome wrote: "I have been often asked how I came to write Swallows and Amazons. The answer is that it had its beginning long, long ago when, as children, my brother, my sisters and I spent most of our holidays on a farm at the south end of Coniston. We played in or on the lake or on the hills above . . . Going away from it we were half drowned in tears. While away from it, as children and as grown-ups, we dreamt about it. No matter where I was, wandering about the world, I used at night to look for the North Star and, in my mind's eye, could see the beloved sky-line of great hills beneath it. Swallows grew out of those old memories. I could not help writing it. It almost wrote itself." He published the first of his children's classics, the twelve Swallows And Amazons books, in 1930. In 1936 he won the first ever Carnegie Medal for his book, Pigeon Post. He died in 1967.
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Comments about Swallows and Amazons:
this is the way to instill a sense for adventure in the young 8-11 yr olds. These have been read outloud in our family for three generations so yes there are some activities and manners of speech that are outdated, nontheless there is a value in knowing things of the past. Arthur Ransom has the ability to inspire the adventurous spirit of the young and young at heart. A must read-out-loud, for any outdoor loving family!
Comments about Swallows and Amazons:
Swallows and Amazons is an old fashioned adventure story in the vein of Enid Blyton. It is quite long for young readers to read alone, but the perfect book for a teacher or parent to read one chapter a day. There are no issues or bad language, just engaging characters who imagine they are pirates on a deserted island, until they are invaded by the owners of the sailing boat, Amazon. There is also much casual information about sailing, charts and navigation.
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"I read the entire series of Arthur Ransome's children's books as a child and thought they were absolutely fantastic. They were full of adventure, all sorts of exciting things happened and they were truly inspirational" -- Ellen MacArthur "You'll want to give this to your children as a window on a time when adventures came from swimming, fishing, camping and exploring rather than in an Xbox...The best line is when Nancy reveals that she is really called Ruth, but changed her name when she heard that pirates are ruthless" Independent "A book that has stood the test of time... enchanting and escapist" Sunday Express "My favourite was the first, Swallows and Amazons, which starts with Roger, aged seven, tacking his way up a field. I knew nothing of halyards, forestays, strops or sheaves, but I was enchanted by what Swallows Roger, Susan, John and Titty, and Nancy and Peggy, the Amazons, got up to with them so cleverly and bravely.My own summer holidays were never quite as exciting, and I never stopped longing to meet them all" -- Sue MacGregor Daily Telegraph "So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!" National Association for the Teaching of English
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 1st August 2012
Publisher: Random House
Dimensions (cm): 18.6 x 13.4 x 3.8
Weight (kg): 0.36