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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.
©2010 Arthur Ransome (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Swallowdale

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Swallowdale

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

6 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

This whole series appeals to all of my children - from age 6 up to age 13.

2 people found this helpful

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This is a great book!!!!!

I have Listend to this book many times and it is always interesting and fun. It’s a great book for all ages. Definitely read this book!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Read with Enthusiasm and Accuracy

I didn't really care for the book "Swallows and Amazons" but my children LOVED it. So when they asked for the "next book" I was inwardly groaning at the prospect of reading another in the series. But then someone suggested an audio book and I came here and found Alison Larkin's narration. It is SO delightful. She reads with feeling, voices, and really knows how to keep my children engaged with the story. I almost feel like they love it better since it isn't Mommy reading it. I loved her performance so much I got the next two audio books in the series so my children can listen to them.

1 person found this helpful

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A great story with some Racist terms that need addressing.

This is a great book. The children refer to what they would consider Native Americans as “savages” and this absolutely needs to be discussed with children as wrong and how this influence in children stories can lead to underlying racism in a society and alternatives need to be provided. Compared to many other classics, though, there is a good relationship between children and adults and a more well-rounded depiction of girls/women. The best part is the author’s ability to enter the kind of a child and tell the story as they wild experience it. I was reminded to do enter the world of my children as I listened and even understood them better. I would love to see an updated version with the racist terms removed.

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Excellent for everyone

Our whole family (children aged 4, 7, 9)enjoyed the second installment of the adventures of the Swallows and Amazons! I love the freedom the children have and the skills they learn as they work together.

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love this book

love this book is going well as a number of other firms have been the case

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Swallowdale

Swallowdale is the best book ever I love it’s a awesome like awesome it’s my favorite book ever in the Entire world

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Swallowdale

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