Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and author, whose books have been adapted for cinema and TV and whose column appears in more than 500 newspapers around the world. Ridley Pearson is a bestselling crime novelist and was awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University. They both live in the USA.
Bestselling adult authors Barry and Pearson imagine a rollicking adventure as a prequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. Those curious about how Captain Hook lost his hand, why Peter never ages and can fly, and how a band of boys came to live in Never Land, will be sated by the magic-dusted plot points and the lively pirate confabulation here. As the novel opens, Peter and several others from St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys are shipped off on the ship Never Land to be servants to the cruel King of Rundoon. On board, Peter meets Molly Aster (sharp readers will surmise she is an ancestor of Wendy), who reveals herself to Peter as a Starcatcher and imparts secrets of certain falling stars and the precious "starstuff" cache below deck. But all is not smooth sailing, as pirate Black Stache and his mates (including Smee) get wind of the treasure. Several sea chases and battles and a couple of shipwrecks later, all the key players end up on the island of Mollusk. As all sides try to obtain the gold-glowing contents of the trunk, talking dolphins and a giant crocodile also make the scene. The tale contains a few too many skirmishes over said treasure, but the authors keep the pace brisk and the chapters brief, employing humorous exchanges (e.g., Black Stache "had a real soft spot for his ma, and was truly sorry for the time he'd marooned her"), slapstick action and flying, of course. Peter Pan fans will find much to like in a what-if scenario that pays respectful tribute to the original. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"* "Fantastic fun." The Guardian * "Peter Pan fans will find much to like in a what-if scenario that plays respectful tribute to the original." Publisher's Weekly"
Gr 5-9-This prequel to Peter Pan refers as much to the 1953 animated Disney film as to J. M. Barrie's original play and novel. The early chapters introduce the archetypal antagonists: Peter, leader of a group of orphan boys being sent into slavery aboard the Never Land, and Black Stache, a fearsome pirate who commands a villainous crew. New characters include Molly Aster and her father. Molly, at 14, is an apprentice Starcatcher, a secret society formed to keep evildoers from obtaining "starstuff," magic material that falls to earth and conveys happiness, power, increased intelligence, and the ability to fly. Inevitably, the ships wreck off a tropical island and a trunk of starstuff is temporarily lost. Here, readers meet more familiar characters: the mermaids in their lagoon; the indigenous people who live in the jungle (modern versions of Barrie's redskins); and, of course, the crocodile. The authors plait multiple story lines together in short, fast-moving chapters, with the growing friendship between Molly and Peter at the narrative's emotional center. Capitalizing on familiar material, this adventure is carefully crafted to set the stage for Peter's later exploits. This smoothly written page-turner just might send readers back to the original.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.