It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday again, my third week of this great idea started by Shannon Whitney Messenger. I almost didn't make it this week, as I am busy presenting at a technical conference (Lotus Notes Development) in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
My pick for this week is a little less obvious, as the Swallows and Amazons books were published back in the 1930s and 1940s, but they are a wonderful and timeless set of books. There is no magic or fantasy, except for the magic of the children's imaginations. In the first book, the Walker children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, have a chance to spend a week at the edge of a lake. With a telegram of permission from Father and the full support of Mother, they take a sailboat and spend the week exploring and adventuring. Their sailboat is the Swallow, and thus they are the Swallows, but they soon meet to do battle with Nancy and Peggy Blackett, the Amazons, and their Uncle, whom they refer to as Captain Flint.
Dreamy and full of innocent imagination, these books may be a little slow paced for some middle graders raised on television and video games, but they are excellent for more quiet and reserved children who will see the excitement of real children making their own adventures. A child may need to look up some of the sailing terms, but most make sense in context.
I grew up on these books, available in Canada even while they were difficult to get in the United States, and it is exciting to see them re-released. Buy the first and share it with your child, and if he or she responds, there are twelve more available which all share the same charm and quiet sense of adventure.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday was started by Shannon Whitney Messenger, but it looks like she didn't have a chance to post today. A few others have taken up the task this week, including Joanne Fritz at My Brain on Books, Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming, Brooke Favero at somewhere in the middle and Myrna Foster at Night Writer. Why not head on over to check out these great blogs and show a little love for the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday effort?
Buy the first book, Swallows and Amazons, from Amazon.com
Buy the first book, Swallows and Amazons, from Amazon.co.uk