If you are looking for Bridge to Terabithia or The High King, you aren't going to find it here. This is from the other
tradition of great British tales for children. It is an old fashioned adventure tale about four children spending part of their summer vacation camping out and sailing around a lake, and playing pirates with some other kids they meet. Thats what it is.
Nobody has a painful secret, nobody is really a fairy, nobody develops a terminal illness, nobody discovers a door into elsewhere or elsewhen. This book is solidly grounded in the real and particular world of some nice kids in the Lake District of England before the second world war. In fact its so solidly grounded in the particulars of that world that the author will tell you what kind of sandwiches they had, and precisely how they put up their tents, how they used a compass to try to set a course and how they got it wrong, and how a centerboard works and much much more.
I can like that degree of specific detail when its accurate and in the service of a story that keeps moving along. Here I like it very very much, I feel like I really was there smelling the smoke from the cookfire. Most of the kids I read it to like it too, especially when they are going through that phase where they want to know how everything works. I have enormous affection for this book and all of its sequels and if you come to it without expecting it to be something its not I think you might like it too.