Swallows and Amazons is a book about a group of siblings that go sailing to an abandoned island to camp for the last bit of the summer. The four children (ages 14 to 7) have amazing imaginations and they enjoy pretending that they are on a island in the middle of the ocean, protecting their ship from 'natives'. The book has an amazing way of showing the children's vivid imaginations by transferring their ideas to the stories that are being read. For example, for an entire chapter in the book the author refers to their mother as "Queen Elizabeth". "Queen Elizabeth said 'Is the ship sound captain?'" and Captain John replied "Yes my Queen." In another chapter, their mother and the man who has rowed her out to the island to drop of supplies for the children are referred to as "natives" for the entire trip.
We are about halfway through this wonderful book and I cannot stop singing it's praises. It is adorable! The only drawback to reading this delightful story is my lack of knowledge of proper nautical terms. It took me quite a while of reading to figure out what 'tacking' was (the way to go against the wind when in a sailing vessel) or what 'duffers' were (untidy and unruly sailors, apparently). But with a short unit study of ships and their equipment, the kids and I fell head over heals in love with this story and can't wait to read the rest of this series.