Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Swallows and Amazons

Written by Arthur Ransome

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Children, boats and adventure, the classic story of Swallows and Amazons laid down a model for this type of fiction. Having set sail for the island in the middle of the lake in their boat Swallow, the four Walker children set up camp and enjoy their freedom and independence. Then the two Blackett sisters arrive in their boat Amazon. How the two families co-exist and become firm friends as they enjoy shared adventures in the outdoors is a perfect introduction to a very different way of life.

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. This book may look long to modern children and the illustrations may appear old-fashioned but the story of two families (no parents) sailing in rivalry on holiday in the Lake District is as enthralling and humorous as anything ever written for young readers.


Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

'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.

A new film adaptation is out in cinemas August 2016. See the trailer below.

See inside: Crack the Swallow's code and learn all about the real locations that inspired the adventurous author.

This edition is part of the Vintage Children's Classics series which is aimed at and shaped by 8-12 year olds, and the adults in their lives. It is a broad, affordable selection of books that will inspire a life-long love of reading; these stories that have secured a place in the hearts of thousands. They are all unabridged. To view all the Vintage Children's Classics titles click here. They are books to be given as gifts, and passed down the generations.

In addition, story hungry children often don't want the adventure to end, so why not take a look at the fully interactive website - World of Stories - which contains lots of extra material - the backstory: with quizzes, activities and fascinating facts about the books and their authors.

STOP PRESS: Did you know that Arthur Ransome's boat, Peter Duck, has been beautifully restored by a fellow author who, inspired by Ransome's boat and his novels has written a wonderful trilogy that fans of Peter Duck, Swallows and Amazons and Swallowdale will devour? It is called the Strong Winds trilogy. In a nutshell it's Swallows and Amazons for the 21st century but with a modern twist. It really is very special and will be enjoyed by the whole family. The titles in the trilogy in order are The Salt-Stained Book, The Ravelled Flag and Ghosting Home.

CLICK HERE to read an article by Julia Jones, which was inspired in part by Arthur Ransome’s sailing adventures and in particular by Peter Duck, the boat which she was brought up on and which had previously been owned by Arthur Ransome.

Browse inside this book


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

About the Author

Arthur Ransome

Arthur Ransome was born on January 18, 1884, in Leeds, where his father was a Professor of History. His father was a lover of the hills and lakes of Furness, and carried the baby Arthur up to the top of Coniston Old Man (later to become 'Kanchenjunga' in the books) when he was only a few weeks old. Every summer, he took his family by train to Greenodd, complete with their belongings packed into a large tin bath, and then by cart along the valley to Lowick and, finally, to Nibthwaite, on the shores of Coniston Water.

It was to be a long time before the memories came to life in Swallows and Amazons and the rest of the books about the children who sailed and explored the lakes and mountains of England. Always fired by ambition to be a writer, Arthur Ransome took his first job with a London publisher and then with the famous newspaper, the Manchester Guardian, for whom he worked for many years as a foreign correspondent.

As a young man, Ransome spent many more happy holidays on the shores of Coniston with his friends the Collingwood family. Mr and Mrs Collingwood treated Arthur as a son and he pays them grateful recognition in his autobiography by saying 'My whole life has been happier for knowing them'. He spent hours on Peel Island, which was to become famous all over the world as Wildcat Island, picnicking there with the Collingwood daughters Dora and Barbara.

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Book Info


528 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Arthur Ransome
More books by Arthur Ransome


Vintage Classics an imprint of Vintage

Publication date

2nd August 2012




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