Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reviews: Swallows & Amazons, Dark Is Rising

I read two "children are having dangerous adventures without adult supervision" books in quick succession. Inadvertently.

I'd been meaning to read Swallows & Amazons for years. I had no particular idea what it was about, only that it was on that nebulous list of "things I should read one day." Well, for the three remaining people on the planet who haven't read it, it's all about children in the Lake District, between the wars, who go on an adventure with their sailboat to an island in the middle of a lake.

I got the feeling that I'd have enjoyed it a little bit more had I been able to turn off my Camp Counselor instincts. 

The kids went sailing. In the dark. With no lights. More than once. And one of them can't swim. Oh, and they shot arrows at each other.

As a kid, this would have been deliciously scary and exciting.

As a 30-year-old ex-camp-counselor, it was extremely alarming. Oh, well.

I did, however, love it in spite of the "OH MY GOD THEY'RE DOING WHAT?!?" moments.

On Liz's recommendation, I read the first book from the Dark Is Rising series, again with the unsupervised children having adventures that are really rather dangerous. I liked all of the Arthurian references, and the book felt completely timeless.

Luckily, both books are the start of fairly long series, which is good to know.

On to the next ones!

1 comment:

Campfire said...

I only read the Arthur Ransome books from being quite an old adult!!! My absolute favourite of these is Winter Holiday. You must read that. Today there was a stall selling books outside the students union outside Manchester Metro Uni and I bought Missie Lee, for £2.

Another book on childrens' adventures is the amazing The Children Who Lived in a Barn. I can't remember who wrote it but it is published by Persephone. Look it up. You might just like it.