Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

Four siblings—two boys, two girls— are on summer holiday in the Lake District of northwestern England. They cross a lake in a sailing dinghy named the Swallow and journey to a small island, where they live free from their parents and are fully immersed in their games of pirates and deserted islands. They make maps, find provisions, and must face down (and eventually befriend) the fierce crew of the pirate ship Amazon. Arthur Ransome based his enchanting 1930 tale Swallows and Amazons (Overlook, $22.95), the first and best known in a series of twelve, in part on his own childhood adventures.  Ages 9-12. EAE