The four Walker children dream of escaping from the tedium of a summer holiday and are overjoyed when they are finally given permission to camp on their own on a remote island in the middle of a vast lake. They call themselves the Swallows. But soon after they arrive, they discover they may not be alone. Another group of children, the Amazons, are already there, so a desperate yet whimsical battle for ownership of the island ensues, where both skill and luck play a hand. At the same time, the dangers of an adult world that is on the brink of war, encroach on their paradise and intertwine with their lives, in the form of a mysterious pair of Russian spies hot on the tail of the enigmatic Jim Turner. The children must ban together from both groups, learn skills of survival, responsibility and the all-important value of friendship to save a family member. Based on the novel of the same name by Arthur Ransome.


Philippa Lowthorpe