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by Jessie Acton, aged 9.
While adult readers will be unable to do other than admire the children's enthusiasm (sufficiently infectious to draw most young readers into it wholesale), they will probably have a feeling of impending disaster from quite early on, in this book. The Amazons' impetuous natures, combined with the others' general inexperience and limited knowledge of mining and its chemistry, lead them all (except, perhaps, the more sensible Susan!) into more scrapes, as well as rather more dangerous situations, than usual.
This leads to a different (but no less absorbing) desire to keep reading this tale than that likely to affect the more naïve younger reader. Both young and old are, nevertheless, likely to spend much of the time on tenterhooks during this book, as the young prospectors explore old mine workings, try their hand at charcoal burning and build and operate a blast furnace in their camp, out on the tinder-dry fells! For once, one can only feel something of a sense of relief that times have changed since 1936, when this was written! One can't help feeling - and being grateful for the fact - that modern children would not be terribly interested in repeating some of the activities undertaken here.
In summary, then, "Pigeon Post" is every bit as exciting (and at times far more nerve-wracking) and educational as the other books in this series: another winner from Arthur Ransome.
I liked Pigeon Post, because it was a different style of book than Swallows and Amazons. Swallows and Amazons took place on the lake and involved sailing. In Swallows and Amazons, the children pretended that everything was something else. Pigeon Post takes place entirely on land. In Pigeon Post, they don't pretend as much. In Pigeon Post, the characters seem more serious and older.
In this book, the children -- the Swallows, Amazons, and Ds -- go prospecting for gold. Squashy Hat, a mysterious character, is looking for it, too. Using pigeons to communicate with home, they go to the mountains behind Beckfoot -- the Amazons' house.
This book is really exciting. I couldn't put it down.