Swallows and Amazons
by Arthur Ransome
Reviewed by Belle
This book was recommended to me months ago, after a ranty blog post in which I lamented the violent stories so popular among young people these days and wondered what had happened to sweet and non-murderous characters like Anne (of Green Gables fame). Swallows and Amazons was first published in 1930, so it’s from the same era as Anne, and it’s exactly the thing to read to restore your faith in a book’s ability to entertain with nothing more than simple writing, imaginative kids and a sailboat. The book follows the adventures of 6 kids who spend their summer holiday pretending to be pirates and camping and falling asleep exhausted every night from days full of exploring and adventure. There are no battles with wizards or fights for their lives, but there is one pirate game they play in the story that kept me up one night just to find out who’d win.
I’d like to say this book is a cross between Robinson Crusoe and Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, but I really shouldn’t seeing as I’ve read neither of those. It’s the kind of book I imagine reading with my son as soon as he’s old enough for his first novel , although before you start scanning op shop shelves for it and making reading dates with your children I should warn you: This book will make them and you want to go camping, no matter how anti-camping they/you are before reading. Also, one of the characters is named Titty, which, if you’re anything like me, you may have to practice saying without giggling before starting to read the book out loud.
Thanks Belle! Sounds awesome. Check out Belle's Elbows..