If you are familiar with the original Peter Pan by JM Barrie, or watched the Disney movie, you probably have a myriad of unanswered questions, including:
What is Neverland, and how did Peter get to there? Who is Captain Hook and how did he end up in Neverland? Why can Peter fly, but not the Lost Boys? Where did the mermaids, and Tinker Bell, come from?
And perhaps one of the most important: how did Peter and Captain Hook meet?
Fortunately for us, one little girl asked that last question of the right person, her father. Ridley Pearson happened to be a suspense writer, with several books under his belt when his daughter asked him about Peter and Captain Hook.
He thought about the answer – and the answer started him, along with humorist Dave Barry, down a path of writing prequels to Peter Pan.
Readers do not have to be familiar with the original story to enjoy Peter and the Starcatchers, Barry & Pearson’s first book. In fact, even though I found this book in the children’s section of my library, Peter and the Starcatchers is a book which will appeal to children and adults alike.
We first meet Peter as he and his fellow orphans from St. Norbert’s Home for Wayward Boys are loaded onto a ship, the Neverland, on their way to becoming slaves of King Zarboff in the Kingdom of Rundoon. On board, he meets Molly, a headstrong young woman determined to help her father, a Starcatcher, to retrieve a large load of starstuff, which falls from the sky and gives people great power.
They have great adventures together, especially as they battle the pirate Black Stache, enlist the help of porpoises and mermaids, and make friends with the natives on Mollusk Island.
Some of the adventures may be too suspenseful for the youngest listeners, but most ages will enjoy the humor entwined in the characters and some of their predicaments. Greg Call’s detailed illustrations help bring so much life to Pearson’s & Barry’s descriptions it’s worth reading the book even if you’ve listened (or will listen) to the audio book.
Recommended for ages 9 and up.
Other books in this series
Peter and the Shadow Thieves
Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
Peter and the Sword of Mercy