Thursday, September 11, 2008

Swallows and Amazons

Swallows and Amazons was a bright spot in our summer reading. At 350 pages, it took us a while to complete, but Levi never failed to request the book at bedtime and 'just one more chapter, please!'

It took me a couple chapters to get my head into the book at the beginning. I am a very visual person. So much of the story was filled with sailing adventures along with the sailing terms. Having only a smidge of sailing experience myself, I had a hard time picturing what the children were doing. Levi didn't seem to mind at all, and by the middle of the book we had gotten into the swing (or the sail) of things. I added daily to my vocabulary of sailing, pirate, and adventure words.

Swallows and Amazons was first published in 1930. It is obvious from the very beginning when the mother of four children lets them sail alone to a nearby uninhabited island to set up camp for an indefinite period. The children are polite, responsible, courageous, resourceful, and highly imaginative. Anyone outside of the little world they create becomes a native. An antagonistic adult is a pirate. When a child is left alone on the island, she becomes Robinson Crusoe.

The four children meet two girls who quickly become part of their world. Pirate battles, treasure hunts, raging storms, and other various adventures ensue. The author creates a story in which every child should want to take part. Quintessential summer reading!!


Unknown said...

Sounds like just our kind of read aloud, I'll have to get my hands on it! Hopefully I will have an easier time reading it than I did "Carry on Mr. Bowditch" this winter. The nautical terminology in there just about did me in.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this sounds like a book I must read to my boys when they are a bit old! Thanks for the review. :)

I`ve got an award for you on my blog, by the way, if you want it.

Anonymous said...

after reading this post yesterday I asked my kids if they remember my reading to them. At first, they all said emphatically - NO. A few minutes later though, we started listing books we had read. My kids are 8.10 and 12 and while we don't homeschool (they go to a Christian school), I appreciate the motivation your post provided me to continue to read aloud.

Shell in your Pocket said...

I am always looking for great books to read to all my kids! I have never heard of this book or author. I will be checking this out...thanks!
-Sandy Toes