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Publisher's Summary

For anyone who loves sailing and adventure, Arthur Ransome's classic Swallows and Amazons series stands alone. Originally published in the UK over a half century ago, these books are still eagerly read by children, despite their length and their decidedly British protagonists.

We attribute their success to two facts: first, Ransome is a great storyteller and, second, he clearly writes from first-hand experience. Independence and initiative are qualities any child can understand, and every volume in this collection celebrates these virtues.

Swallowdale (originally published in 1931) is the second title in Arthur Ransome's classic series for children, for grownups, for anyone captivated by the world of adventure and imagination. It follows the Walker family and friends through a shipwreck, a camp on the mainland, a secret valley and cave, and a thrilling mountain hike.

All 12 novels in the Swallows and Amazons series have been brought to life in the US in print by David R. Godine, Publisher.

Listen to more in the Swallows and Amazons series.
(P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall

Swallowdale

Swallowdale is my favorite book in the Swallows and Amazons series. This reading is well done. Enjoy!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent Narration

These stories are superb! I'm just discovering this series by Arthur Ransome, and thoroughly enjoying the stories.

The narration by Alison Larkin is excellent. She really brings the stories to life and does the different character voices very well.

Overall, I highly recommend this series. I'm listening my way through them.

  • Overall

Swallowdale

It was awesome. I like that they got shipwrecked. I especially like Titty. -MCW (8)

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Clair
  • California, USA
  • 05-10-17

Pure magic transports you to another place and time

My 8 year old daughter was captivated by this story. She says it was fun and she enjoyed the suspense and the use of all the sailing terminology even though she knows nothing about sailing. She felt like she was there and that she was Titty. She can't wait to listen to others in the series. I loved listening too as we listened in the car each day. I was sometimes tempted to listen when she wasn't with me. These stories take you to a wonderful idyllic childhood.

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  • Story

Innocent Adventures

If you could sum up Swallowdale in three words, what would they be?

imagination, independence, countryside

Who was your favorite character and why?

Titty, the third child in the Walker family, is my favorite. Her imagination always enlivens the world around her, but she's willing to listen and learn from her mother and older sister.

What does Alison Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The reader does a wonderful job using different voices for all the children. It's usually quite easy to tell which one is speaking. Her clear unhurried narration also contributes to a feeling of peace and enjoyment as the children are camping but quickens enough for such excitement as there is (like the sailing race near the end of the novel).

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, it's pretty long for one sitting. Most of it doesn't make you feel like you must listen to the next chapter immediately.

Any additional comments?

I love the Swallows and Amazons books. They give my children a glimpse into a life of safe exploration and adventure, a time when strangers in books were friends and helpful rather than scary. There is one point in the book when Titty attempts to make a kind of voodoo doll, which was a bit surprising as we were listening. But her older siblings and mother react calmly with just enough explanation and discouragement to avoid spreading the idea to anyone listening to the book. I also love how the oldest brother faces his own fault in the shipwreck and then moves on from it, learning from his mistakes but not letting them hold him back in the future.<br/><br/>This whole series appeals to all of my children - from age 6 up to age 13.

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  • Overall
  • Gilbert
  • 03-25-09

At long last

This is what I, as a Ransome fan, have been waiting for. We used to have abridged versions on tape - but you felt as if you were being read to by a rather stern vicar who thought these stories would be 'good for you'. This reader hits just the right tone, and she succeeds admirably in giving each character his or her own voice. Remember those school days when, for the last half hour of the afternoon, the teacher would get out the current book and read the next instalment to you? (Do they still do this?) This reading recaptures the sheer pleasure of that experience. For Ransome fans whose spirits lift when, with the characters in one of the novels, they return to the lake for another holiday after too long an absence, and see the sun shining on the water and the fells in the distance, these readings will be a delight. And you can always pretend you're getting them for your children or grandchildren.