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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More an equal than a sequel!
"Swallowdale" continues very much where its predecessor, "Swallows and Amazons", leaves off, with the Walker children returning to "that remote lake in the north of England" one year after the events of the first book and looking forward to another couple of weeks of fun, sailing with their friends, the Amazon pirates. Plans quickly begin to...
Published on 10 Dec. 2000

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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More an equal than a sequel!, 10 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Swallowdale (Hardcover)
"Swallowdale" continues very much where its predecessor, "Swallows and Amazons", leaves off, with the Walker children returning to "that remote lake in the north of England" one year after the events of the first book and looking forward to another couple of weeks of fun, sailing with their friends, the Amazon pirates. Plans quickly begin to go awry, however, and Ransome turns events away from the anticipated activity of sailing on the lake to an altogether different sort of fun, as the children take off camping and exploring in the surrounding fells and mountains.
The book has all of the fine qualities that make its predecessor such an excellent read for children (and adults) of all ages. Ransome's prose is a delight throughout, his characters engaging and the events that befall the children entirely believable. As in all of the other books of this series, simple pen and ink drawings by the author add considerably to the enjoyment. If only the world (and the Lake District!) was still like this!
Incidentally, although this was the second of Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazon" books to be published, it is best read after the third volume, "Peter Duck", because it is set chronologically after the events of that book, and makes occasional back reference to it. You will enjoy "Peter Duck" much more if you read it BEFORE you read "Swallowdale". And if you enjoyed "Swallows and Amazons" you will certainly enjoy this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days!, 28 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) (Paperback)
The sequel to 'Swallows and Amazons' sees the Walker children camping around the Old Man of Coniston (renamed 'Kanchenjunga' by them), following a small boating accident which has the Swallow put in for repairs. The Blacketts do not have an equal role in the tale, having been forced to spend seemingly all their waking hours entertaining their great-aunt Maria, an aunt more formidable than any dreamt up by P G Wodehouse.

There is not really a plot. The action is centred on the 'conquest' of Kanchenjunga (the Himalayas were a big focus for expeditions at the time when Ransome wrote this -- 1931), a sprained ankle, hurried meetings between the Swallows and the Amazons and a race at the end after the successful repair of the Swallow.

Along the way, however, we meet a few rustic characters -- the charcoal-burners and some members of the Swainson family. Ransome, while he reproduces the manner in which they speak, in no way paints them as yokels but as sympathetic characters in their own right. And this is one of his many strengths as a writer and as a human being.

I like Ransome's ability to capture what it is like to be young and to portray this in the spectacular scenery of the Lake District. Most of all, I admire his skill, which he has in common with authors such as E Nesbit and Kenneth Grahame, in being able to write for all children between the ages of 7 and 90 without ever once talking down to them.

As for youngsters messing about in boats and 'wild camping': it is a great shame that it cannot happen so freely these days. Mrs Walker and Mrs Blackett would no doubt be prosecuted by the social services, who would not only get hold of the wrong end of the stick, but it would be the wrong stick entirely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More an equal than a sequel!, 2 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
"Swallowdale" continues very much where its predecessor, "Swallows and Amazons", leaves off, with the Walker children returning to "that remote lake in the north of England" one year after the events of the first book and looking forward to another couple of weeks of fun, sailing with their friends, the Amazon pirates. Plans quickly begin to go awry, however, and Ransome turns events away from the anticipated activity of sailing on the lake to an altogether different sort of fun, as the children take off camping and exploring in the surrounding fells and mountains.
The book has all of the fine qualities that make its predecessor such an excellent read for children (and adults) of all ages. Ransome's prose is a delight throughout, his characters engaging and the events that befall the children entirely believable. As in all of the other books of this series, simple pen and ink drawings by the author add considerably to the enjoyment. If only the world (and the Lake District!) was still like this!
Incidentally, although this was the second of Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazon" books to be published, it is best read after the third volume, "Peter Duck", because it is set chronologically after the events of that book, and makes occasional back reference to it. You will enjoy "Peter Duck" much more if you read it BEFORE you read "Swallowdale". And if you enjoyed "Swallows and Amazons" you will certainly enjoy this.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Have it ready when your child finishes Swallows and Amazons!, 7 Dec. 2004
By 
HLT (Wales, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) (Paperback)
Being a sequel (or rather, the second in a long series) this should be read after the excellent Swallows and Amazons.
Children who love the previous book will definitely want to spend more time in the company of the Walkers and the Blacketts (better known as the Swallows and the Amazons) and that is exactly what Swallowdale offers. It's not simply more of the same, though. Both sets of children are beset by their own crises, which conspire to keep them off the water throughout the bulk of the story. Even Captain Flint is "grounded" by these events, which make the adventures more land-based and more furtive: the children are explorers (and prisoners!), not sailors.
Having re-read this as an adult, Swallowdale doesn't have quite the same amazing freshness and sense of excitement that Swallows and Amazons still delivers. I think this might be because the characters who seem to face the worst challenge (Amazon Pirates Nancy and Peggy) hardly ever have the story told from their point-of-view; Ransome seems far more interested in showing the world through the eyes of the Swallows (which is strange, because Nancy was reportedly his favourite character: he even named his own boat after her).
Having said that, I still recall how Swallowdale delighted me thirty-odd years ago, and I have no hesitation in commending it to any child who has finished Swallows and Amazons, and who wants to find out what happened in the summer holiday of the following year.
A final note: I recommend reading these in the published order, rather than reading Peter Duck first as suggested in another review. To do otherwise is to miss the emergence of Mr Duck from "imaginary friend" to "living breathing character". And, buried somewhere in the rest of the series is an explanation of how this can have happened!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My girls adore this, 29 April 2013
By 
Gail Davis "gails_jazzhands" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
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This was purchased for my daughter (aged 6) who has it read to her by Daddy in the evenings. She and her little sister (aged 4) love this book, as they did Swallows and Amazons. The adventures, the characters, the picnics and the setting of the Lake District all appeall to them. They regularly recreate parts of the story and are in a phase where they demand to be known as Susan and Titty and not by their given names (this normally prompts a bit of explaining on my part for those unfamiliar with the stories).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids books ? Too god for that!, 3 April 2010
By 
P. Ingram (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) (Paperback)
Most of the previous comments keep on about Ransome's books being just for kids.
I could not disagree more! I did not discover them until in my forties, and now I am nearer to 70, I am still re-reading the entire series every couple of years, and still find them as fresh and enthralling as ever.
Maybe some might think me retarded! In fact I am highly intelligent, I just do not like the smut and violence that passes as literature so often. Swallows and Amazons for ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great memories for me, great for my 13 year olds imagination, 22 May 2009
This review is from: Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) (Paperback)
I used to enjoy the Swallows and Amazons books as a child. I am now reading them with my 13 year old son who is also enjoying there adventures.
We have made seed cake and eaten duck eggs together after they were mentioned in the stories. He now would prefer the books to playing on the computer (option has been given). A must for any father and son to enjoy together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Days Re-visited, 18 Dec. 2009
By 
E. McIvor "Stepgran" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Swallowdale (Hardcover)
In my early years around about age 11-12yrs, I "discovered" Arthur Ransome. In those days the books were borrowed from the library, but I am the proud owner of 4 of the titles. My children and "grown up" grand-children also frequented the library for the titles I did not own and now I have two step-grandchildren. The oldest, at 10yrs is a prolific reader and I bought Swallowdale & Swallows & Amazons for her as a Christmas present, so she could start the series at the begining, and then go on and read the ones I have kept over the years. I still love these books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life changing classic, 4 Jan. 2013
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Read as a child at publication and re-read as an old man, it gave a vision to lad a from the Midlands that life can have attainable adventure by messing about in boats. An infection with no known cure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sequel to "Swallows and Amazons", but a stand alone, 16 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) (Paperback)
For what it's worth. If your reader liked "Swallows and Amazons" he should like this sequel as much or more.

However, since these books aren't all that easy to find, if you have this one and not "Swallows and Amazons", there is no reason you can't read them out of order.

Either way, the Ransome books reflect an earlier and gentler time, but still a time of fun and adventure. I wouldn't hesitate to try one of these books even with a jaded modern young reader.
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Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons)
Swallowdale (Swallows And Amazons) by Arthur Ransome (Paperback - 2013)
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