Arthur Ransome spent his childhood in England's Lake District, and after a career in journalism that took him to Russia (where he married Trostsky's secretary), China, and Egypt (interspersed with summers of cruising through the Baltic Sea and the canals of Europe), he retired to Coniston where he could practice his favorite pastimes of sailing and fishing and where he wrote the Swallows and Amazons series.
Gr 3-5-The first title in Arthur Ransome's classic series, first published more than 80 years ago, receives top-notch treatment here. The four Walker children are thrilled to discover that they will be allowed to camp on an island just across the harbor from their summer abode. They are positively gleeful that no grown-ups will be allowed. John, Susan, Titty, and Roger assign themselves boating titles and responsibilities. Well taken care of in terms of provisions made available to them, they enter into a "war" with two sisters nicknamed "The Amazons." Add in the Amazons' crabby seaman uncle who thinks the Warner children are responsible for the theft of his manuscript, and enjoy a ripping tale full of adventure, humor, and mystery. Narrator Alison Larkin easily portrays the enthusiasm and exuberance of the children, and gives each one a unique voice. Her excellent pacing, musical voice, and British accent are perfectly suited to this old-fashioned yet engaging story. Additional titles in the series are available from Brilliance Audio.-B. Allison Gray, Santa Barbara Public Library System, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"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."--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 "He makes a tale of adventure a handbook to adventure."--The Observer "For those who regret the hemming-in of childhood, the Swallows and Amazons are free-range children to gladden the heart."--The Wall Street Journal