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Peter Pan in Scarlet Paperback – May 6, 2008

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Editorial Reviews Review

Book Description:
In August 2004 the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, who hold the copyright in Peter Pan, launched a worldwide search for a writer to create a sequel to J.M. Barrie's timeless masterpiece. Renowned and multi award-winning English author Geraldine McCaughrean won the honor to write this official sequel, Peter Pan in Scarlet. Illustrated by Scott M. Fischer and set in the 1930s, Peter Pan in Scarlet takes readers flying back to Neverland in an adventure filled with tension, danger, and swashbuckling derring-do! Exclusive

Tony DiTerlizzi on Illustrating the Cover for Peter Pan in Scarlet
I grew up with J. M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy and later read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens which was illustrated by the great turn-of-the-century artist, Arthur Rackham. Peter's carefree spirit and nature is what I adored as a child and long for now as an adult. And these are the feelings I tried to convey into my rendition of the boy-who-would-not-grow-up.

In working on an image for the American jacket of this authorized sequel, I went through many designs trying to capture the spirit of the 100-year-old character while making him intriguing to the readers of today. This, of course, is much easier said than done.

Many of us have an idea of what Peter Pan should look like based on stage plays, movies, and the myriad of illustrated books, but in actuality both J. M. Barrie and Geraldine McCaughrean describe very few of his physical features. This opens up a lot of room for visual interpretation for an illustrator, however anything too severe in redesign would lead to confusion of identifying who this iconic and (dare I say) mythic character is. So I tried to breathe some new life into his appearance, but still remain faithful to the Peter Pan we all know and love.

--Tony DiTerlizzi

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The product of a contest commissioned by trustees at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, owner of the copyright to J.M. Barrie's original Peter Pan, this authorized sequel largely succeeds in entertaining fans of the classic. Curry offers an easy, comfortable pace and somewhat subdued tone for this outing, seemingly taking great care to introduce listeners to new characters (Fireflyer, a male fairy) and reacquaint them with old ones (Wendy and John Darling, Peter). As the central plot unfolds—a return by the League of Pan to Neverland, and their treasure-hunting adventures there with Peter—Curry particularly delights in giving voice to Ravello, a tattered lion tamer and dramatically obsequious fellow who offers to assist the crew and who has a hilarious, hard-to-place foreign accent. Slightly darker and a bit harder to follow than its predecessor (also new on audio; see notes), McCaughrean's follow-up, sparked here by Curry's solid performance—is sure to prove irresistible for many. All ages. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416918094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416918097
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's 30 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 150 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hopsital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (who's good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's at the Royal Academy of Dramtic Art now, studying to become an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Bobbie on October 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Geraldine McCaughrean's "Peter Pan in Scarlet" is different from all other additions to the Peter Pan mythos in that it reads like an extention of the original story instead of a fanfiction. There is a comforting feel to reading this book, like the feeling of coming home. It was definately a treat to read after having read the original novel.

This book fills in many holes left by it's predecessor, and answers all the nagging questions that haunted me after reading the first one. It expands and deepens the characters of all the familiar faces, including the Lost Boys, the Darlings, and even Captain Hook himself. I was especially moved by Hook's story and fell in love with the character all over again.

For anyone who is worried that this is just a badly written marketing ploy, or a violation of their childhood, I say that there is nothing to fear. This book is a marvel and a fitting tribute to an amazing writer. Buy the book, and even if you don't enjoy the story within it's pages at least you will be helping a children's hospital in need.

"Peter Pan in Scarlet" will have an honored place next to "Peter Pan" on my bookshelf.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By C. Massmann on October 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Before I get into this review I will warn you, I am over-critical of things I care about, and Peter Pan is one of those things. So sometimes this review will sound like an obsessed fan whining and for that, I apologize, but I will try to keep it to a minimum.

Peter Pan in Scarlet is a good book; I will read it again. However, that does not mean it is a classic in the making, following in the ever so hard to fill footsteps of the original. It is not great, is not sensational, and at the very least is worth waiting for the paperbound edition. And if you have dotted on Peter since you were small enough to fly to Neverland you will probably feel an underlying wrongness in this book.

First the whining part, the crowing. I know Peter crows. Acknowledged, accepted, but to have it spelled out, repeatedly, in double-sized print, bothered me. The end. And since when did Captain Codfish have two first mates? Starkey and Smee where both credited the post here. There are other inconsistencies as well, like the shadows and flying. But enough of that, let's move on.

The writing style was a shadow of Barrie's, in my opinion. Almost as if the author would forget that she was trying mimic it, the style would wander away, popping back now and then in a bizarre game of hide and seek.

The theme of the story was rather violent, mature one could say. Yes, there were dangers in the original, lives threatened, but still, it was held together with the magic of child's innocence that Peter Pan is meant to encompass. This story ripped that rug right out from underneath you.

Peter does seem not quite his-self, though in the beginning that can rather well be attributed to his being completely alone.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Peter Thomas Senese - Author. on October 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Geraldine McCaughrean has created a fantastic sequal for all of us who believe in NeverLand! In this wonderful follow-up to Peter Pan, we are taken back to Neverland, where there is great adventure waiting Peter and his crew of familiar and unfamiliar cast. However, Neverland is a bit darker and more dangerous than what Peter first experienced, and the challanges he faces is much more than what he expects! From one adventure to another, readers of all sorts will completely cherish this wonderful book that picks up in rythem and beat from the initial story about the young boy who never wanted to grow up. I can simply say that the world at large has waited for THIS book written by THIS author. Ms. McCaughrean has done an amazing job in creating a sequeal that is as much a continuation as it is a new adventure. Peter Pan in Scarlet is a must read for every person who reads. Take flight and let your imagination soar . . . and fly with Peter Pan!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the words of another reviewer, when one is a devoted Pan Fan, her reviews might come across as fanatically picky. But I am about to review "Peter Pan"'s official sequel: not some spin-off from the Disney film, not a half-hearted attempt at the biographies of Wendy, Tink, or Hook. Don't get me wrong. I loved 'Peter Pan in Scarlet'. It was fun, I reread it, and it was worth four stars. But I feel I must warn you - in writing a gentler, updated sequel, and a good inventive story, Geraldine McCaughrean somewhat sacrificed J.M. Barrie's original dark purpose of incriminating adults and glorifying children. And as it IS the OFFICIAL SEQUEL, it needs a little criticism.

I'm sure you already know the summary: 'Peter Pan in Scarlet' finds Wendy and the Lost Boys where we left them last - as adults in London. All of a sudden they begin to have humorously vivid dreams of Neverland; they decide they must return to Neverland and right any wrongs that have occurred in their twenty year absence. Of course Peter Pan, the Marvelous Boy is absolutely fine, and now that there are friends to share his adventures with, he decides to take them on a treasure hunt to the top of Neverpeak, joining forces with the Circusmaster Ravello along the way.

As the world's top Pan Fan, I immediately discovered a few inconsistencies with this book: the shadow/flying explanation, of course; several mistakes in respect to the pirates; the over-stressing of 'clothes making the man'. These basically unimportant mistakes can be attributed to the difficult task of creating a new storyline. But my MAIN COMPLAINT comes with a VERY BIG SPOILER: When the Darlings meet Ravello the Circusmaster, they are actually meeting none other than a disguised Hook!
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