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Great Northern? A Scottish Adventure of Swallows & Amazons (Swallows & Amazons, #12)
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Great Northern? A Scottish Adventure of Swallows & Amazons (Swallows and Amazons #12)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  857 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Finally! Here is the twelfth, and final, book in Arthur Ransome's acclaimed Swallows and Amazons series. People familiar with his earlier work will recognize the pattern: children set out on an adventure (this one off the coast of Scotland) with a minimum of parental advice and interference. Here, the story centers on a desperate race to thwart the efforts of pernicious eg ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by David R Godine (first published 1947)
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Mar 29, 2013 BookSweetie rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, series

Loon = Great Northern Diver and that's the centerpiece of the FINAL and TWELFTH volume of the wonderful Swallows and Amazons outdoor juvenile adventure series.

Oh, how sad it is to say farewell to the fictional characters whose lives and adventures wrap up in Scotland.

The Walkers, the D's, and the Blacketts along with Captain Flint (Nancy and Peggy Blackett's uncle) have one final adventure together, though Dick and his natural history curiosity and scientific knowledge anchor the plot.

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,
Nov 18, 2015 Olivia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
"Here, you look....what's the matter?"
"Nothing, nothing," said Titty impatiently, scrumpling her handkerchief into a ball. It really was dreadful, the way her eyes would weep when there was nothing whatever to weep about...quite the contrary.

A great end to the series. On this one the Swallows and Amazons, Dick and Dorothea, and Captain Flint are all out to save a rare type of bird from an egg collector in Scotland. And the McGinty tribe think they are up to no good. There were parts that I foun
Kailey (BooksforMKs)
I loved this book on so many levels! The writing is excellent as always. I love each and every character to distraction. The plot is full of suspense and surprises. It was wonderful to see Dick, the Ship's Naturalist, finally getting some credit and recognition! It was bittersweet to read this, knowing that it is the last book of the series, and now all the adventures are truly over. I wish the ending had been more drawn out; it ended abruptly, and I could have used at least a paragraph or two m ...more
Austen to Zafón
Well, except for the two more fantasy books in the series (Missy Lee and Peter Duck), we've listened to the entire series, read by the wonderful Alison Larkin. I wish I'd read these as a kid. I would have loved them in a different way from how I love them now, with the shared experience with my 10-year-old son. It would have added another layer. But anyway, to young or old I can recommend the whole series.
Will Clerk
Mar 04, 2012 Will Clerk rated it it was amazing
I think it is one of the best in the series, it was fun to read.
Katie Fitzgerald
This review also appears on my blog, Read-at-Home Mom.

Great Northern? is the twelfth and final book in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. Once again, the Walkers (John, Susan, Titty, and Roger), the Callums (Dorothea and Dick), and the Blacketts (Nancy and Peggy) all come together for an exciting adventure filled with dangers real and imagined. Captain Flint has taken all three sets of explorers on a trip on a borrowed boat, the Sea Bear, which is just about ready to be returned when
Sep 18, 2015 Martyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This is only the second Ransome book I have read (following on from reading The Big Six). Having only met two of the characters in the previous book, it was a bit confusing to be introduced to so many other characters all at once. Ransome didn't introduce them properly, and I never really did get to know who they all were or where they were all from. Nor did I get to know much about their characters. In light of that, it was hard to take too much of an interest in them.

But having said all that,
Mary Taitt
Aug 12, 2012 Mary Taitt rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I love all of Arthur Ransome's children's books in the Swallows and Amazons series. This is a great book for children and adult lover's of children's literature. As in all the Arthur Ransome books, the kids go off on their own and have adventures. There are adults who get involved in this one, but it is the children who take the decisive actions. The protagonists are children and the antagonists are adults. But not all adults are bad.

In Great Northern, the ship's Naturalist, D
Jun 23, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And so we say good-bye ... this is Dick's story, really, but the others all play their part and it's lovely to see how they have all grown up a bit and get on together. The plot is excellent and Ransome captures the sense of place really well. But it's Dick, crouched uncomfortably in his netted hide, watching the Great Northern Divers for hour after hour, that sticks in the mind.

There are lots of loose ends at the finish - we don't find out what the laird did, or what happened with the egg colle
Aug 19, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
I found this the least satisfying. Almost as though Ransome had got tired of writing the stories.
In this last, although there was a part written story, the Swallows, Amazons and Scarabs reform on a cruising holiday with Captain Flint around the Scottish coast.
A bit of a one trick pony about a nasty egg collector attempting to steal the eggs of a protected bird, the Great Northern of the title and them trying to stop him. That's it.
I found none of the charisma of the previous books and the charac
Jun 16, 2016 Eugene rated it it was amazing
An excellent last book in the Swallows and Amazons series. I read a few of these as a child and they remain firm favourites of mine. I love the details of the sailing and how the children build their own imaginative worlds, always on the search for adventure. As a child, circumstances were such that I couldn't get my hands on the whole series - so I bought the lot a few years ago and have treated myself to one a year. It's a bittersweet moment now, reading the last of the series, but I thoroughl ...more
Feb 17, 2012 Helen rated it really liked it
The last full book in the series, and one of my favourites. Dick's discovery of an unusual bird nesting launches the Swallows and Amazons into an adventure in which the danger - a fame-seeking egg collector with a gun - seems very real. The children doing everything they can to protect the birds and their nest - in the name of Science - still speaks volumes in today's conservation conscious world, and while some may find the kilt-wearing, Gaelic-speaking Scottish locals a little much, there's st ...more
Jan 01, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing
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.
We're so sad to say goodbye to all the great characters we've grown to love in these books. We did skip the more "fantasy" installments (Peter Duck and Missee Lee), so we'll go back and read those, but really this was the end of the great adventures. What a ride! I think these will be a big part of Logan's memories of his childhood.
Jan 02, 2009 Grillables rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Oh blast, is this really the last of the Swallows and Amazons? I want more! The S&A and D&D are in fine form again, in this sailing and birding adventure. On a self-congratulatory side note, I was pleased to find I recognized the Great Northern Diver as the Common Loon, based on Ransome's drawings (thanks, Mr. Hubley!).
Kathryn McCary
Twelfth and last of the Swallows & Amazons series--and Captain Flint is back. Set on a Scottish island, with one of those unnecessarily intricate plots Nancy Beckett so loved, this is a good finish to the series--still delightful, but you can tell it is coming close to self-parody.
Jane Mackay
Aug 22, 2015 Jane Mackay rated it it was amazing
Dick takes center stage in this wonderful final chapter in the lives (as we know them) of the Swallows, Amazons, and Scarabs (D's). I shall miss these explorers, pirates, artist, writers, and scientist, sailors all.
Matt Cartney
Jul 01, 2013 Matt Cartney rated it it was amazing
My favourite Swallows and Amazons adventure, possibly because it is set in my home country! Ransome beautifully captures the remote wildness of the Scottish Highlands and fills it with one of his most exciting adventures. My favourite children's author in my favourite part of the world...
Sep 30, 2009 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the whole Swallows & Amazons series! But what I'd really like to do is read them all in order -- I didn't recognize some of the characters nor did I know why they were on this sailing trip. But since I don't have all the books, & they're quite difficult to come by ...
Nov 10, 2009 Carolynne rated it it was amazing
The last in the fabulous _Swallows and Amazons_ series stars Dick Callum, who identifies a rare bird, the Great Northern Diver, usually a North American bird, which was not known to nest in Scotland before.
Fred Langridge
Jul 18, 2016 Fred Langridge rated it it was amazing
This one takes a while to get going, but then it's really really exciting! It's the last completed novel of the series and leaves me very thirsty for more.
Oh, wow.
Kate B
Sep 20, 2014 Kate B rated it really liked it
Swallows and Amazons forever!
But sadly the last in the series.
Jul 06, 2009 Tom rated it really liked it
Like all the Swallows and Amazons books, this is a charming old-fasioned childrens' adventure story. It's set in the Hebrides and centers around the surprise appearance of a rare bird species.
Jan 26, 2013 Louisa rated it really liked it
Another great story. Another adventure. I wonder if at the time the conservation theme and species protection was a novel approach for an author.
Oct 07, 2010 Rose rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Northern? by Arthur Ransome (2001)
Mar 27, 2015 Iris rated it liked it
My least favourite one. And not only because it's the last!
Jan 03, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Childhood favorite. I reread one from this series every Summer.
Alison Stephenson
Jul 16, 2011 Alison Stephenson rated it liked it
Ransome was a childhood favourite - but when I re-read this while I was lying around with a cold I decided it was not one of his best.
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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)
  • Swallowdale (Swallows and Amazons, #2)
  • 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)

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