The Swallows, Amazons and Ds are united again for Arthur Ransome's final story in the series. Flat on his front, binoculars to his eyes, alone at dusk, Dick makes a remarkable discovery: two rare birds, never before seen in the British Isles. Captain Flint and his crew decide to consult an expert to confirm the discovery. But when the man they ask turns out to have his collector's eye on the birds' eggs, not to mention skins, an enjoyable voyage around the Outer Hebrides becomes a desperate race to save the birds, and themselves.My thoughts:
We started reading Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome in 2012 and right before 2015 ended we slipped in the last book of this 12 book series, Great Northern?. We would have been finished sooner, but we were waiting for the publisher of our series, David R. Godine, to publish Great Northern? Unfortunately, it still hasn't been published so back in September I found a used copy on Amazon and ordered it. I would love to say we breezed through this book, but our read-aloud time fell by the wayside right in the middle of the book. Right after Christmas I took the bull by the horns and we set out to finish it before the new year.
On to the story--typical of Arthur Ransome Great Northern? starts off slow. The Swallow, Amazons, and the Ds are finishing up a fun excursion when Dick discovers his rare birds which results in trying to get photographs of the birds while trying to protect them from a famous collector. While he is busy getting pictures of his birds the rest of the crew are having their own drama as they try to be decoys but end up being chased and rounded up by the local Highland laird. Captain Flint tries to come in a rescue them, but is thwarted in his attempt to explain the situation. Again typical of Ransome, the all the action happens at once which makes it hard to put the book down. Overall, my kids felt this was a satisfying read, though they are a little sad that this is the end.
If these books have any drawbacks it would be that they are slow going in the beginning. Another drawback for some is all the terminology that pertains to sailing and ships. Even though I have read all of these I probably couldn't look at a sailboat and be able to tell you what is what, but I don't think this bothered my kids at all. (In fact, they probably understood it better than I did.) What makes these books fun and unique is all the adventures that kids have on their own. Yes, there are adults involved at times, but they are usually looked at as more of a nuisance though never in a disrespectful manner. These are basically stories about kids who enjoy childhood to the fullest and what kid may I ask isn't going to like that?
Reviews to the other Swallows and Amazons books:
See what others are reading aloud over at Hope is the Word.