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Humorist Dave Barry and suspense writer Ridley Pearson have clearly taken great delight in writing a 400-plus page prequel of sorts to Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan stories. The result is a fast-paced and fluffy pirate adventure, complete with talking porpoises, stinky rogues, possible cannibals, a flying crocodile, biting mermaids, and a much-sought-after trunk full of magical glowing green "starstuff." Ever hear of Zeus? Michelangelo? Attila the Hun? According to 14-year-old Molly Aster they all derived their powers from starstuff that occasionally falls to Earth from the heavens. On Earth, it is the Starcatchers' job to rush to the scene and collect the starstuff before it falls into the hands of the Others who use its myriad powers for evil.
On board the ship Never Land, an orange-haired boy named Peter, the leader of a group of orphaned boys being sent off to work as servants in King Zarboff the Third's court, is puzzled by his shipmate Molly's fantastical story of starstuff, but it inextricably binds him to her. Peter vows to help his new, very pretty friend Molly (a Starcatcher's apprentice) keep a mysterious trunk full of the stuff out of the clutches of the pirate Black Stache, a host of other interested parties, and ultimately King Zarboff the Third.
The downright goofy, modern 8-year-old boy humor sometimes clashes with an old-time pirate sensibility, and the rapid-fire dialogue, while well paced, is far from inventive. Still, the high-seas hijinks and desert-island shenanigans will keep readers turning the pages. Greg Call's wonderful black-and-white illustrations are deliciously old-fashioned and add plenty of atmosphere to a silly, swashbuckling story that shows us how Peter Pan came to fly and why he, and his story, will never get old. (Ages 9 and older) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Grade 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
It's fine to name a character Peter Pan and it's arguably O.K. to use all of the character names and place names from the original Barrie Peter Pan, but that's not enough unless... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Pop Bop
Title: Peter and the Starcatchers
Author(s): Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Age Group: Middle Grade
Series: Peter and the... Read more
Now I know how Peter Pan became learned to fly. A librarian should know these things. If my students enjoy this as much as I did, I'll be purchasing the sequels.Published 10 days ago by Susan E. Johnstone
I loved this book!!! I usually enjoy my reading and love great adventures, but this was the best so far!!!!!!!!Published 14 days ago by Taresa L. Franklin
My son was assigned this book for summer reading. So far, I have not figured out why. The story is pretty slow (at least so far and we're up to page 150) and I haven't yet... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Kindle Customer
Good Condition. Great Books... getting the whole series for the grandkids.Published 1 month ago by Susan M.
This is a great book series for children and adults alike… I love fairytales and really enjoyed the prequel to Peter Pan as well as the five other books in the Peter in the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rachel
My daughter and I got this audio series based on a chance recommendation by the local librarian. We almost gave it up at the start but decided to stick with it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by T. Ryan