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Coot Club

(Swallows and Amazons #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,885 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Someone is wrecking wild birds' nesting places on the lake and selling eggs to out-of-town collectors. It's the Coot Club Bird Protection Society to the rescue!

Dick and Dorothea Callum came to the Norfolk Broads during the Easter holidays, eager to learn to sail. There, they run into the Coot Club--children who protect the local birds from thoughtless tourists.

Trouble begi
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by David R. Godine Publisher (first published January 1st 1934)
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David Lamb I think the rude and inconsiderate tourists on the 'Margoletta' who spoil the Broads for other people are the Hullabaloos, but holiday makers in gener…moreI think the rude and inconsiderate tourists on the 'Margoletta' who spoil the Broads for other people are the Hullabaloos, but holiday makers in general are called "foreigners". (less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Turn away from the news of Trump and North Korea and sexual harassment, and lose yourself for a few hours in Arthur Ransome's 1930's classics, the Swallows and Amazons. In Coot Club, number five in the series, Dorothea and Dick end up on a sailing boat, in the region of Norfolk. The two adventurers, and modern readers, are introduced to that special world of yachts, barges, tow boats, rowboats, and the rivers, marshes, and sea they all sail upon that still existed in a prelapsarian world of open ...more
Jun 29, 2008 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 the Swallows & Amazon books are set so I knew the places they visited.
Coot Club, along with Big Six is set in the Norfolk Broads and doesn't feature the Swallows & Amazons so it's not my favourite but I still love it!
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 fri
Tharindu Dissanayake
"That were a real good 'un,"

The fifth installment of S's & A's comes with a quite a bit of change by moving the story away from the Swallows and Amazons. We are now in a phase where D's from Winter Holidays are the link to original story. Though all new characters were full of action, it was a bit disappointing to not see the old gang.

As for the plot, if felt to be written in a style more similar to that of Peter Duck, the third in the series. Though this one is not a fantasy or an imaginative
Sophie Crane
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An exciting sailing adventure for children, A Great story that never loses its appeal.
Kristin Wood
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
As a birdwatcher I had a particular fondness for Ransome’s books that focus on birds including Great Northern and this great read, Coot Club. Every child should have a summer spent on water with a worthwhile cause such as protecting a coot nest from marauding animals or oblivious and irresponsible humans as it was in this read. As in other Ransome books the children are responsible, creative and physically active. Summers are an adventure because the children choose adventure. I have never done ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love the Swallows & Amazons world with my whole heart. This book features neither of the series titular groups, but it is an easy favorite. It starts with a kid taking direct action against rich, thoughtless “hullabaloos” in order to protect the lives of birds—he sets their motor cruiser adrift. The adults agree he’s done what’s right, but now he’s an “outlaw” on the run.
The kids sail, take risks, have adventures, get into and out of scrapes. They’re inventive, and welcoming. It’s an idyllic
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Enola Stevenson
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such fun with beautiful, evocative descriptions and inspiring characters with morals and attitudes worthy of imitation.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
This is my least favorite of the Swallows and Amazons so far. The river setting is unfamiliar and none of the original cast were in it. Still a fun story though.
Here is an example of the kind of parent I would like to be:

"Look here, dad, what would you do if the only way to get to our baby was up this dyke, and mother and you and me were all on the other side of the river, and a huge motor-cruiser was fixed right across the opening of the dyke, so that none of us could get in, and our baby was all alone, and we knew that if we didn't get to him soon he'd go and die?"
"Do?" said the doctor. "Why, we'd scupper that cruiser. We'd blow it sky high. We'd...Bu
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
This one is sort of a spin-off. It focuses on Dick and Dorothea, the city kids who got drawn into the world of Swallows & Amazons in WINTER HOLIDAY, and their exciting adventures learning to sail with a whole bunch of other intrepid and imaginative kid adventures. What I like about the introduction of the Ds, as they are called, is that it can inspire people who weren't raised around boats and camping and the outdoor life to try their hand at it. After reading about Dick & Dorothea's adventures ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
How on earth did I miss this when I was reading Arthur Ransome's books in my youth? Reading this book for the first time was an absolute joy, especially as Ransome's love and deep knowledge of the Norfolk Broads really shines through. The plot also has an intriguing array of elements: (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, childrens
Dick and Dorothea go to visit an old family friend in the Norfolk Broads where they meet the Coot Club, a group of young sailors and bird lovers. I enjoyed the sailing and birding adventures and all the new characters, especially the Admiral and her pug, William. I did find the characters of the three “pirates” blurred together, as did the twins a bit, but kudos to the author for keeping his sequels fresh and interesting. The author’s illustrations and maps are a nice addition, but the maps are ...more
T.E. Shepherd
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If Swallows and Amazons is the childhood classic to remember, Coot Club is its equal. We first encounter Dick and Dot in the book that comes before it when they are with the Swallows and the Amazons up in the northern lakes. In this story they holiday on the Norfolk Broads and we encounter the Coot Club.

I will always love the original story in this series but this is a story with more action and danger, and dare I say it, plot. When the Hullaballoos park their motor cruiser over the No. 7 nest
"Rattling good yarn". I have not read this one since I was a child, and the only things I could remember were a bit about the Norfolk Broads themselves, the barge and wherry, and the nasty lot in the noisy motor cruiser. It's a good story though - interesting how the town children, Dick and Dorothea, have to prove themselves able to cope with, in this case, learning to row and sail (on water this time) and be accepted into a new group of children. Dick in particular ploughs his own furrow with a ...more
Kimberly Shawna
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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Queco Jones
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic children adventure story all around sailing dinghies? Obtained a 1935 copy that I had to rebuild before reading. I got it from an old sailors wife after his passing. Having sailed all my life I wish I had encountered this series earlier. Fnny thing, that having been written in the ‘30s still depicts character of boaters, specially motorboaters that continue to this day. Will read more for sure. Now the lake region in UK is part of my go to places.
Hard to beat Arthur Ransome's classic British stories for light summer reading with family and kids...we especially love these in audiobook format during summer vacation trips! This one features life on the water and the adventurousness of youth during a time when "helicopter" parenting was not at all in fashion... ...more
Kate H
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Growing up the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome was one of my favorite series. When I decided to re-read it as an adult I was worried that it would not stand the test of time. I was delighted to find that in general found it just as enjoyable now as I did as a child. The characters, writing style and adventures are great and I truly enjoyed the series.
David Lamb
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one of my favourite books by Arthur Ransome and it has, as well as the type of good things that other reviewers mention, the added curiosity that you can read it or listen if you have the audio book, or both, on each of the days by date that story takes place, beginning today 22 April which has the first six chapters. I am on Chapter Three so far, anyone care to join me?
Kathy Nealen
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was surprised to find that this episode of Swallows and Amazons did mot feature any of the Swallows or the Amazon’s. Dick and Dorothea from the last episode joined with some new characters (Coot Club members) for some sailing adventures. I wasn’t sure I would like it without the familiar characters but I did. I’m curious about whether they all will meet in a future episode.
Nicola Brown
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have wanted to read this since I visited the Norfolk Broads last Summer. It did not disappoint. I am not a sailor so the technical terms went rather over my head, but it was lovely to picture the places the children visited in their boat; and to enjoy an unchallenging 1930's "ripping yarn". ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in the series! Very enjoyable! Lots of adventures, good food and great company! Love the twins and especially their nicknames Port and Starboard! Can’t wait to read this series to my Grandchildren in the future! Really enjoyed it!
The Mole
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First 2/3 was hard to push through. Just not as exciting as the first 4 books. The last 1/3 was better, although still not as enjoyable.

It certainly feels as if Ransome was experimenting with different writing techniques.
Matthew Richey
We struggled with this one. For my boys, it was tough to ever get into since there are none of the same characters that they had grown to love in the previous 4 books (and it really was a slow slog for the first couple hundred pages).
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-books
The previous episodes of the Swallows series are better, but Coot club is still a nice story and interesting adventure. True, sometimes a little simple and sometimes a little lengthy, but still an interesting sailing adventure. This time with ship's novices Dick and Dorothea and experienced children's sailors Tom and two girls Port and Starboard (to say nothing of the Admiral and the Dog). ...more
Marsh Bloom
Dec 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This and peter duck are my favorite so far. Other than having to invent additional excitement near the end of the book, this one has the tightest structure as well. If I was going to have someone read one of this series to get a sense of the books I’d recommend this one
Sarah Dunsbee
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: john
Good read,suffers from all the new characters who appear to be fine upstanding likeable chaps but not very distinct or detailed,apart from the great William! Nice to see a dog in an AR book...
Good storyline
Dick and Dora around and only link to previous books but a little watered down...
Roy McDine
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Superb - anyone who has ever sailed (like me) will love all the technical details and sheer enthusiasm that probably made young adults from the late 30s take it up - loved it
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't help but wish that I'd found this series when I was a youngster. ...more
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Arthur Michell Ransome was an English author and journalist. He was 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

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)
  • 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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“Well, Joe,” said Mrs. Barrable. “What about that watcher of yours at Acle? He doesn’t seem to have been of much use yesterday.”
The twins laughed.
“Him?” said Joe indignantly. “I been down to Acle last night. Bill’s bike. That Robin never see ‘em go through the bridge. And for why? You know that fourpence I leave him for the telephone. His mam keep him in bed with a stomach-ache. You wouldn’ think a chap could get a stomach-ache for fourpence. But he done it. He go and buy a lot of dud bananas cheap and eat the lot.”
“Disgraceful,” said the Admiral.
“I’ll stomach-ache him when I get him,” said Joe.”
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