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Swallowdale (Swallows and Amazons #2)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,442 ratings  ·  66 reviews
'Ahoy! Ahoy! Swallows! Ahoy!'

Have you ever sailed in a boat or built a camp? Have you caught trout and cooked it yourself? The four Swallows, John, Susan, Titty and Roger return to the lake full of such plans and they can't wait to meet up with Nancy and Peggy, the Amazon Pirates. When the Swallow is shipwrecked and the Amazon's fearsome Great-Aunt makes decides to make a...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Vintage Children's Classics (first published 1931)
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Update of May 2013:

Three years (give or take a couple months) is not really enough of a gap in between rereadings of a series I know as well as this one. Swallowdale in particular seems like it could benefit from lying fallow for a decade or so. But I suppose that in 2010 I just didn't dare to allow myself to foresee that my son would eventually appreciate having these read aloud to him, lest I jinx the chances of his liking these books which mean so much to me.

As was also the case in my recent...more
Jan 06, 2008 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tim by: Arwen O'Reilly
Shelves: childrensbooks
This is (I think) the third of the Swallows and Amazons series, with the second being Peter Duck, which I have not read.

I probably won't read more of these, but I did indeed love S&A and this one.

They are a rare breed, wonderfully summed by a quote on the jacket of the wonderful old Jonathan Cape edition I read. Eric Linklater, in the Observer, writing about Great Northern, another of Ransome's books, wrote "It is perhaps, Mr. Ransome's happiest gift to dress all his invention in good workma...more
More 1930's kids camping/sailing/pirating adventures, this time with a shipwreck! And a cave! And a daring escape!

I think one of the things that's most charming about these books is that they're so detailed. It's not just, 'the Swallows made camp,' it's a five-page explanation of how their tents work, and how they built a fire, and how they made a broom from brush. The educational value is faded with time, but the charm hasn't.
Definitely the best children's book ever wri ... oh no, not again.

For a long time (ie, until I read Secret Water), Swallowdale was my favourite in the series. I don't know anything about boats, and in this book they are mostly camping instead, so I felt more at home with it. And who wouldn't want to camp in Swallowdale, a secret valley with a stream and a [mmgrmmffrpmmph] perfect larder, is what I was going to say, actually, Titty.

This is a story about the Swallows, and the Amazons, dealing with...more
I think this is definitely one of my favourites from the collection!!
I loved the adventures and outdoor challenges. But also the references to hills and lakes of the Lake District which I knew and recognized from family walks. Perhaps more significantly I really envied the Walkers and "Red caps" freedom to explore independently, without their families. It seems that parents were much more liberal with allowing their children to be independent in this period.
I found and read the Swallows and Amazons series in my early 20s. I am only sorry I did not find them earlier. Stories of the family's summer adventures are beautifully written, and encourage responsible and creative living. Self reliance, intelligent reasoning skills, and strong imagination with these children provide an excellent backdrop for this series of books, as well as strong roll-models for any youngsters reading them.
Melissa Proffitt
I wish my summer vacations could be like this: camping in a hidden valley, using a secret cave as a larder, trekking overland to climb a mountain (not a huge mountain, a big hill maybe), sailing and rowing all over an enormous lake. And at such a young age--the youngest isn't more than eight years old. In all, this makes for some good summer reading.
If you are looking for an easy yet intriguing read, then you've found them here. The whole series contain stories about four children and their imaginative travels...kind of like the chronicles of narnia but slightly more down to earth, and lots of fun. They made me laugh a lot, and helped me to see life a little bit more brightly.
Arthur Ransome's tales of British children out sailing in the Lake counties are just wonderful. Funny, quaint, perfect adventures, with the right amount of characterization, realism, whimsy, and imagination. I have re-read all of these as an adult, and they hold up to time; I can't wait to read them to my son when he's older.
Jonathon Dabell
Swallowdale is the sequel to Swallows And Amazons, and was itself succeeded by a number of further sequels. I must admit I enjoyed the first book rather a lot more than this one. There are some beautifully described episodes here, yes, and enjoyable escapades as before... but there's something missing too. It's hard to explain exactly what it is, but Swallowdale seems to take an inordinately long time to not go anywhere in particular. As a rule, I'm not usually put off by slow or languid books,...more
I am onto a new series. Obviously these books were (are) a children's classic in England.

This is the second in the series (follows Swallows and Amazons). The children find themselves back the next summer to continue their adventures sailing and camping.

For all the enthusiasm and excitement it is short-lived. First, the Amazons have a stern great aunt staying who demands their constant attendance and does not think it is fitting for the two girls to be off playing pirates. She has their mother a...more
In my view better than the first. After holing their boat Swallow, the family camp on the moor in a valley above the lakeside woods whilst it's repaired.
The Blackets, part time female pirates due to the arrival of an Aunt at their home on whom attendance must be danced upon, join them as and when they can.
It's clear that in a way Ransome was particularly keen on the Titty character. In every book she assumes, at some point, a pivotal role. In fact it could be said that generally Ransome wrote hi...more
This is the 2nd of the 12 "Swallows and Amazons" books, and one of our family favorites.

The Walker children return to the Lake District for their summer holidays, just as they did in "Swallows and Amazons". Great plans are made to camp together with the Blackett girls together on Wild Cat Island. However tragedy strikes when the good boat Swallow is shipwrecked!

So sailing and camping on the island plans must change while Swallow is repaired. The adventurers turn their sailing misfortune into a l...more
Have you not read "Swallows and Amazons" yet? Perhaps in my desire to remain spoiler free, I didn't play it up enough.

"Swallowdale" is book two in the series, but you should really start at the beginning. The young adventurers are all back at the lake for their summer holiday with new discoveries and difficulties to contend with.

I seriously love these books. Set in 1931 (when it was written), the four siblings who make up one sailing crew and the two who make up the other are all capable, imagin...more
It's years since I read Swallows and Amazons. I always meant to go on and read more but for some reason never did. Swallowdale was worth waiting for though - the story of another idyllic summer spent messing about in boats and on the fells in the Lake District. What I particularly love about it is the real understanding Ransome has of the way in which children's imaginative play works - how reality and invention merge to produce a sustained narrative of adventure. Yes, it's very much a product o...more
As a child these were my favourite books, I loved stories of adventure and my family holidayed in the English Lake District where these books are set so I knew the places they visited.
Whilst on holiday I would imagine meeting the Swallows and Amazons on every lake. At school my friends and I would play Swallows and Amazons. My best friend Sarah and I, being the only ones who were truly obsessed by the books would take charge and we would, of course, be the Amazons. Sarah was always Nancy and I,...more
Steve Johgart
Dec 23, 2012 Steve Johgart rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steve by: Mom (when I was in 5th grade)
Another in my favorite book series from my 5th/6th grade years. This book hails from 1931, when an adventure book didn't have to involve spies and dangerous killers, or fantastic worlds with elves and orcs. Ransome takes a story of the adventures of a group of children (and their affiliated adults) in on a lake and into the hills of England during summer break, real-life childhood adventuring spiced with a generous dose of imagination, and gives the gentle and lovely story as much momentum as a...more
Katie Fitzgerald
This book, like its predecessor, empowers children to use their imaginations and explores the possibilities of a world where children can roam independently and look after themselves for certain lengths of time. Contemporary kids - especially in my urban community - probably haven’t done anything close to what John, Susan, Titty, and Roger do in these books, but I think every kid understands the desire for independence and relates to the power and enjoyment of imaginative play. These books appea...more
Felisa Rosa
Six British children enjoy an idyllic summer holiday, camping and sailing, virtually free from adult supervision. The second book in the beloved British series, Swallowdale is almost 400 pages long, and doesn't have much of a plot. I wish I would have discovered these books as a kid, when I wasn't apt to be hung up on such formalities, and when I was extremely interested in reading detailed descriptions of packing and meals. (Seriously, kids love to read about food, for some reason.) That said,...more
My copy 1953
Brian F
Great Book, follows on from the tale of Swallows and Amazons, but is a story in its own right. This story starts at Holly Howe and tells of the crew of the Swallows adventures on Wild Cat Island. A Brilliant read for any child big or small with a taste of adventure for the outdoors. I'll be returning to read this again and again (or after i've read Peter Duck :) the next book in the series)
Again a book in a delicate condition with a 50p price tag. Oh so much value in a book with memories of previous readings and pleasure in the rereading and remembering forgotten pleasures.
This is why books should always be given as presents. Forget lego, xbox , cars, dolls. This is what remains with me and brings me undimmed delight.
Carl Brookins
I first read this series when I was a youngster. An outstanding adventure series for the middle school age contingent. I am so pleased that Godine saw fit to reissue the entire series. Although the setting is the nineteen thirties, the lessons taught, wrapped in exciting outdoor activity, are excellent. First rate.
Not as good as the first book in the series (Swallows & Amazons), but it was nice to see the children in a new environment. In this second book the kids have on land adventures and play explorer. A nice read that made me smile at the end of it. I can't wait to keep following their adventures through this entire series.
Swallowdale is the second book in the Swallows and Amazons series. These books are the perfect read for summertime. You will feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your face, smell the water and the smoke from the campfire, childhood will feel that much closer when you read this book.
This was the best school prize I ever got and led to me being completely addicted to Arthur Ransome's books. At each birthday and Christmas, I planned which one I could afford to buy next and my imagination was filled with the magic of the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads.
Kelsey Thomson
Nov 04, 2010 Kelsey Thomson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10-100 -Anyone who loves realistic children adventure and wants to be a priate!
Swallowdale is the sequal to Swallows and Amazons, althoough Arthur Ransome is heavy on the details and the book is somewhat slow-paced, I never got bored reading it as i felt I was there, watching the characters exploring. I want to learn to sail! =D
Very good. Couldn't stop reading it. I think I loved this one even more than the first! I want to LIVE in Swallowdale!
This is a nice wholesome family book about sailing and adventuring. This one takes off a year after the first one and I think it's significantly better than Swallows and Amazons because a whole lot more happens and not everything goes their way.
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Arthur Mitchell Ransome was born in Leeds in 1884 and educated in Windermere and Rugby. His family spent their summers at Nibthwaite, to the south of Coniston Water.

In 1902, Ransome abandoned a chemistry degree to become a publisher's office boy in London. He used this precarious existence to practise writing, producing several minor works before Bohemia in London (1907), a study of London's artis...more
More about Arthur Ransome...
Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons, #1) Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6) Winter Holiday (Swallows and Amazons, #4) We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (Swallows and Amazons, #7) Secret Water (Swallows and Amazons, #8)

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“They found, like many explorers before them, that somehow, in their absence, they had got into trouble at home.” 3 likes
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