Once again Arthur Ransome comes up with a grand adventure for the children he introduced in his earlier books. This time they are sailing a small schooner through little-charted waters in the China Sea. After a disastrous fire on board, they are washed ashore, along with Captain Flint (Nancy and Peggy's Uncle Jim if you are not familiar with these books) on a small chain of islands and captured by Chinese pirates. Those over-sensitive souls among us may find the depiction of Chinese natives, and the rendition of their accents, less than PC, but I read this book for the first time at the impressionable age of nine and I don't think it coloured my attitude to Chinese people in any negative way. What this books does, as superbly as all Mr Ransome's others, is convey the excitement that children feel if they are allowed a little freedom. Our poor children today, molly-coddled and over-protected by our anxious selves can only dream of adventures such as these. Luckily, they have books like this to transport them to such faraway places where we, as parents, cannot interfere.