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Swallowdale (Swallows and Amazons #2)

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,067 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
"The world that the children enter as soon as they get off the train in the Lake District is as separate from their everyday world as Hogwarts or Narnia... For most readers, the idea of cooking trout you have caught yourself is as strange and poetic as the idea of casting a spell that turns a teacup into a turtle." --Guardian

'Ahoy! Ahoy! Swallows! Ahoy!'

Have you ever saile
Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 10th 2012 by Vintage Children's Classics (first published 1931)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,979)
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Jun 02, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2008 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  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 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.
Aug 19, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Steve Johgart
Dec 23, 2012 Steve Johgart rated it really liked it  ·  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
Sep 26, 2014 Eva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-in-2014
I liked this one a little better than the first, perhaps because I have invested in the characters. My son is determined to get a sailboat now. This series and our recent sailing class have really sparked a passion for him.
John  Ashtone
Oct 21, 2014 John Ashtone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the follow up title to Swallows and Amazons and is a fairly good read, as usual nothing dramatic happens but everyone has fun.

It is the following year The baddie takes the form of Great Aunt Maria, who is visiting the Blacketts (Amazons) and so Nancy and Peggy are restricted in their movements and how much time they can spend having adventures with the Swallows.

In many ways these books are a children's version of the world of P.G Wodehouse, especially Jeeves and Wooster, where the plot
Jun 07, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2013 Eleanor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-as-a-child
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.
Jan 01, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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.
I recently reread Swallows and Amazons, so of course I had to follow it up by rereading Swallowdale as well.

My comments on this book are much like those regarding its predecessor: it is a wonderful, family-friendly, wholesome, fun adventure for all ages. It is just as good as the first book in the series. In fact, I actually like it better. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that in encouraging other people to try this series, my parents lent Swallows and Amazons out to people an
Melissa McShane
Aug 02, 2012 Melissa McShane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, young-adult
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.
Sep 21, 2008 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 09, 2013 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
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.
Jun 05, 2007 nicebutnubbly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, favorites
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.
Alexander Van Leadam
It happens all too often: the second book of a series attracts us in the same way as a TV series. We want to see how the characters and the overall plot we've enjoyed in the first book develop further, only to be disappointed by the lack of development. There's little that's truly new in this second book of the series. The characters simply mature and the plot continues but we already know them quite well. It's only familiarity that attracts us. The rest is trivial or technical. Swallows and Ama ...more
Jenny Thomas
I think this si a great book
Jul 23, 2013 Iris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, great!
Steven Slaughter
I loved this second in the S & A series. This adventure takes the Walker children on an unexpected, mostly land-based adventure that proves just as satisfying as the first book. The Blackett sisters, meanwhile, are stuck with an aging relative and have much less freedom to engage in their usual tomboyish piracy. I really hope to read the rest of the series. A great addition for parents who like to read other classic children's adventure stories to their kids. Find these books and give them a ...more
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
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
Jul 07, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 29, 2008 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
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,
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
Dec 05, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Výstup na Kančendžengu měl taky mnohé do sebe, ráda vzpomínám jak uložili papírek do staré krabičky, kde už našli podpisy Blackettovic rodiny...
Nicméně jak mám postavu Titty ráda, v tomto díle mi trochu lezla na nervy.
A kdo by měl rád pratetu? :D
Jane Mackay
Mar 11, 2015 Jane Mackay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SWALLOWDALE is only slightly less wonderful than SWALLOWS & AMAZONS. But then, SWALLOWS & AMAZONS is perfect, and perfection can't be replicated. As Sylvia Lynd of the News Chronicle wrote in her review of COOT CLUB, the fifth book in this series, "The life we live with Mr Ransome is simply irresistible."
Jan 18, 2015 Furrawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every bit as good as the first book in the series, SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS. It makes me feel like a child again. Makes me long for the adventures of camping out in the backyard and the adventures of childhood... Read it... But, start with the first book.
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
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Arthur Michell 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 artist
More about Arthur Ransome...

Other Books in the Series

Swallows and Amazons (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons, #1)
  • Peter Duck: A Treasure Hunt in the Caribbees (Swallows and Amazons, #3)
  • Winter Holiday (Swallows and Amazons, #4)
  • Coot Club (Swallows and Amazons, #5)
  • Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6)
  • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea (Swallows and Amazons, #7)
  • Secret Water (Swallows and Amazons, #8)
  • The Big Six (Swallows and Amazons, #9)
  • Missee Lee (Swallows and Amazons, #10)
  • The Picts & the Martyrs or Not Welcome at All (Swallows and Amazons, #11)

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“They found, like many explorers before them, that somehow, in their absence, they had got into trouble at home.” 4 likes
“Things might have been a lot worse. Don’t you worry about it overmuch. When a thing’s done, it’s done, and if it’s not done right, do it differently next time.” 1 likes
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