A prequel to J. M. Barrie’s classic

17 Sep

Peter scanned the area for a place to run and hide. He saw a supply store offering pulleys and hemp rope, some taverns— the Salty Dog, the Mermaid’s Song. Mermaids?Peter wondered. But everywhere he looked, there were sailors and dockworkers, rough men with rough hands. […]

“I’ll be getting back to Saint Norbert’s,” Grempkin said. He turned toward the coach, paused for a moment, then turned back and said, “You boys better watch out for yourselves.”

In seven years, it was the nicest thing Peter had ever heard Grempkin say.

(From pages 6-7 of Peter and the Starcatchers)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearsonpeter and the starcatchers cover

Copyright 2007, Hyperion Books for Children

451 pages, fantasy

Peter and his fellow orphans have no idea what’s coming when they are forced to board the Never Land. Peter soon learns that the ship is headed to the country of Rundoon, where he and his friends will be acting as servants for the cruel King Zarboff the Third. On the Never Land, Peter meets a girl named Molly, and they become friends. After some mysterious events, Molly explains to Peter about the Starcatchers, a group of people who collect a magical substance know as starstuff and dispose of it, as it could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Molly herself is a junior Starcatcher.

Molly and Peter must take care of a strong trove of starstuff before evildoers can get to it. A swashbuckling adventure, filled with pirates, savages, orphans, and mermaids, follows as they struggle to complete their quest.

This ingenious novel offers answers to the “how” and the “why” behind the classic story Peter Pan. Frequent switches between narrators keep readers well informed. I was disappointed that the splatterings of humor were few and far between, as co-author Dave Barry is a truly hilarious writer. Also, the frequent and hearty descriptions of mild and melodramatic violence drove be a bit insane.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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1 Comment

Posted by on September 17, 2009 in Book Reviews


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One response to “A prequel to J. M. Barrie’s classic

  1. The Never Fairy

    September 17, 2009 at 8:59 PM

    Although a fun story, it completely fails as a prequel to “Peter Pan.” There are so many mistakes in it from J.M. Barrie’s original stories one has to wonder if Barry/Pearson took the time to even read them! Besides that, Peter Pan HAS a backstory by Barrie. And if it’s supposed to be a prequel to Disney’s version, the series eventually contradicts it, too.

    There is a faithful addition to Barrie’s story, based on his idea for more. Click my name to see.



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