Coot Club by Arthur Ransome

If Swallows and Amazons is the childhood classic to remember, Coot Club is its equal. We first encounter Dick and Dot in the book that comes before it when they are with the Swallows and the Amazons up in the northern lakes. In this story they holiday on the Norfolk Broads and we encounter the Coot Club.

I will always love the original story in this series but this is a story with more action and danger, and dare I say it, plot. When the Hullaballoos park their motor cruiser over the No. 7 nest of the Coot Club, Tom Dudgeon is forced to take matters into his own hands and casts the cruiser adrift so that the mother coot can return to her nest. As Tom evades the Hullaballoos he teaches Dick and Dot how to sail, with the help of fellow Coot Club members, the twins, Port and Starboard.

If characters ever needed a follow up story it is Port and Starboard. Whilst Dick, Dot, Tom and the Death and Glories get to have more adventures on The Broads in The Big Six, sadly this Port and Starboard’s only story.