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Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons, #6)
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Pigeon Post (Swallows and Amazons #6)

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  1,663 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The crew's on holiday, and they turn their energies to mining for gold, aided by pigeon messengers Homer, Sophocles, and Sappho. The adventurers comb the nearby hills for a fabled lost claim, while being shadowed by a mysterious figure they dub "squashy hat." Undeterred by drought, sudden brushfires, and the continuing presence of Squashy Hat, the young prospectors perseve ...more
Paperback, 382 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by David R Godine (first published 1936)
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Northern Lights by Philip PullmanWatership Down by Richard AdamsThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Borrowers by Mary NortonMonsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Carnegie Medal Winners
16th out of 75 books — 68 voters
Mary Poppins by P.L. TraversMadeline by Ludwig BemelmansThe Sword in the Stone by T.H. WhiteLittle House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls WilderThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
Best Children's Books of the 1930s
25th out of 93 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

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Zak Benson
This book was written before 1950

This story is about the 8 children in the Swallows & Amazons series who are imaginative and adventurous and love to go sailing and exploring the area around their summer holiday homes. This holiday the children decide to try go gold mining but as they begin prospering they meet a strange man who seems to have the same idea. They dub him "squashy hat" after his squashy looking hat and begin their adventure for gold while facing hazards like drought, fire and h
On "Masterpiece Mystery" recently, one of the characters said, "I'm more of an Arthur Ransome kind of girl." And I guess I am too. Much as I enjoy fantasy (the background of one of the Inspector Lewis mysteries set in Oxford)I am even more drawn to the wholesome outdoor life detailed in Arthur Ransome's novels. In this book the Swallows and Amazons, with Dick and Dorothea, camp in the hills of the Lake Country trying to find a gold mine. They communicate with the adults in their lives through pi ...more
Just short of 80 years old, this book has aged very well indeed. It was a deserved Carnegie Medal winner and it is one of my favourite stories. It draws the reader into a wonderful adventure during the hottest of summers in the loveliest of places.

In this story, it is Captain Flint who is running the show, even though he doesn't turn up until the penultimate chapter, and has no idea that he is running anything. But it is Captain Flint who provided the pigeons; it is Captain Flint who has inspire
Rae Ward
As a book written for children about children it is a lovely piece of work. I first read this as a child and again as an adult. The book is just what it says in the foreword, a piece of fiction based on the author's childhood holidays.

As a wholesome book for children and a book for adults who don't want to have to analyse every letter of the writing but simply enjoy a classic piece of children's fiction, it is ideal. Don't expect this book to be anything other than that and you'll enjoy it I thi
This, the sixth book of the "Swallows and Amazons" series, was the very first winner of the (British) CILIP Carnegie Medal in 1936. Unlike many classics of British literature for children, these books don't involve any fantasy. They are, rather, the down-to-earth adventures of a group of very resourceful children,usually taking place in the great outdoors. The sailors come ashore for this book and go prospecting for gold in the hills and mountains of the Lake District of England. They still call ...more

PIGEON POST (published 1936) is Number Six in the Swallows and Amazon juvenile fiction outdoor adventure series by Arthur Ransome

and features the three groups of children who have already previously appeared in the series: Nancy and Peggy Blackett-- the Amazons; John, Susan, Titty, and Roger Walker -- the Swallows; and Dick and Dorothea Callum -- the D's.

Readers also meet three messenger pigeons named Sophocles, Sappho, and Homer and a geologist called Squashy Hat whom the children perceive as
We just finished reading this book aloud in the evenings. It is #6 in the "Swallows and Amazon" series. While not our favorite book of the series, it still is such a delightful book to read.

I was introduced to these books in elementary school. The entire set was probably on the library shelf, but I only remember "Swallows and Amazons". What a fun thing to find them again, and read them with new eyes and return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the Walker children ran about the Lake Dist
P.d.r. Lindsay

It's become fashionable to pooh-poo Arthur Ransome. It is said that his children are not realistic, too goodie-goodie, or even worse, middle class! The stories are not exciting enough or gritty enough.


Classics are what his books have become and although they are now treated as historical fiction by many people kids love them and read them. Why? Because the characters direct their own adventures and make their own fun. Because the books are full of sound practical information which a chi
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,
Nějak jsem si zvykla, že děj se odehrává na vodě či v její bezprostřední blízkosti, takže to byl tak trochu nezvyk, ale nebylo to špatné. Malinko mě mrzí, kolik prostoru dostává Titty na úkor jiných postav, přestože ji mám jako postavu ráda.
A holubi... To byl opravdu nápad!
This is the best one yet in the series! In this one, the Walkers, the Blacketts, and the Callums go mining in old workings in the hills near Beckfoot (where the Blacketts reside). Logan is very keen on the idea of mining, although it certainly sounds like a lot of work. The kids crush the raw ore, pan it, build a blast furnace, and smelt it. They also use homing pigeons to communicate with Mrs. Blackett while they are staying near the mine area. Lots of fun details of things kids are no longer a ...more
I always enjoy these but this one wasn't a favorite. I'm really not liking Nancy's domination over everyone else.
Hope they never grow up so they can continue to adventure.
I think this one was my favorite of the series so far. Very exciting!
Richard Burton
For those who equate the Swallows & Amazons series with largely water-borne adventures on lakes and rivers this book may initially seem disappointing as the action tales place on land. However Arthur Ransome crafts a joyful story of children prospecting for hidden gold in the Lake District. There is a mysterious stranger, abandoned mines and a landscape parched and tinder dry in a summer heatwave. The title refers to the method the kids use to communicate with the 'natives'. i.e. adults. Gre ...more
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.
Mary Taitt
Another excellent Arthur Ransome book. This one starts out more slowly than Peter Duck. And it gets a bit tedious in the middle, but it becomes very interesting and exciting at the end. A worthy read for those interested in children's literature. The Swallows, Amazons and D's go searching and mining for gold to try to keep Captain Flint near home. And they find . . . well--read it and find out--it's worth it.
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.
One of my favorites! Great adventure. Squashy hat is the perfect 'enemy', who makes everything else they do so very exciting. And I love the geology theme and the old mines. No sailing terms this time, but much more interesting geology terms. Downtown LA public library.
The story of a gold hunt in the hills, with a rather unexpected ending. The caricatures of the children involved work because they (and Captain Flint) fit quite well with the nine Enneagram psychological types. A good book with some excitement, albeit rather dated.
Read all of this series as a child and have thoroughly enjoyed re-reading some of them as an adult. I have had quite a different perspective and very much enjoyed the historic aspects of reading books written in the 1930s. Camping was very different then!
Making time to re-read some childhood favourites. All of the Swallows & Amazons books are wonderful adventure stories, written with real insight into character. "We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea" is still my favourite, but Pigeon Post runs it close.
David R.  Godine
"There is plenty of excitement, a little danger, a quality of thinking, planning and fun in connection with a gold-mine. The ingenuity of this group of children is delightful and stimulating."
The Times Literary Supplement
Pigeon Post and Winter Holiday, since these books have the full cast of Amazons, Swallows, and D's, are among my favorites from the series. I especially enjoy the thoughtful, earnest D's. Pigeon Post has a lot of humor, too.
Possibly my favourite, camping, gold mining, mysterious stranger, smelting, pigeons carrying messages and a fell fire. What more can you want?!
Dick stars in this one, it only happens because of what he does.
This one had me reading 'just one more chapter' for much of the book. Lots of action. I've requested the next one from the library. I seem to be on a roll with the Ss and As.
Stephen Dawson
Though there is no sailing, this is one of the best of the Swallows & Amazons series. The children are a little too adventurous with a blast furnace, but a cracking story.
The intrepid Swallows, Amazons, and D's are at it again - this time mining for gold, with the help of some homing pigeons. Plenty of adventure, as usual. Good stuff.
John Dodds
I love Arthur Ransome's books but this wasn't one of my favourites. The final quarter was gripping but I found the first three-quarters to be slow.
Kathryn McCary
Sixth of the Swallows & Amazons series, and back to the North and the Lake. Mining and dowsing and boffining and fire-fighting--splendid!
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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...
Swallows and Amazons (Swallows and Amazons, #1) Swallowdale (Swallows and Amazons, #2) 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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“A pigeon a day keeps the natives away.” 2 likes
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