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Peter and the Starcatchers [Kindle Edition]

Ridley Pearson , Dave Barry , Greg Cal
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. Afast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From School Library Journal

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7624 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion (November 23, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004C43EMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling New Fiction for All Ages August 26, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Fourteen-year-old Peter is an orphan who doesn't exactly know how old he truly is, just like he doesn't know his last name. So when St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys places him aboard a ship called The Never Land, along with four of his mates, on a trip to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff, where they will be forced to serve as slaves, Peter doesn't know exactly what to think. But when he meets up with fourteen-year-old Molly Aster, a rich passenger, traveling with her governess Mrs. Bumbrake, mysterious things begin happening. For instance, Molly can speak to porpoises, and she's hiding information about the strange trunk located in a holding cell upon The Never Land. Information about the magic, and mystery, that the trunk is holding inside. But when the notorious Black Stache learns about the treasure, the passengers upon The Never Land are in for a lot of trouble. Trouble that leads them all to fight with pirates, and become stranded on a desert island.

Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have created an absolutely amazing re-telling of PETER PAN. Peter is an exciting character who is kind, and fun, while at the same time intelligent, even though he hasn't received any formal education. Molly, on the other hand, is brave and hard-headed, and will appeal greatly to female readers, as she possesses true girl power, which shines through in every page that she appears in. Readers who enjoyed the recent movie PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN will adore the character of Black Stache, as he puts the mean into PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS, what with his nasty attitude, and vicious orders. Overall this is an amazing adventure story that will be enjoyed by male and female readers of all ages, whether they are a fan of the original story of PETER PAN or not.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter and The Starcatchers June 9, 2005
Format:Hardcover
Incredible! I have read many, many stories to my children including the original Peter Pan. This book stands out as one of the most difficult to put down. My son is always begging for just a few more pages, and I have received many a reprimand from my spouse for reading past his bed time. My son expressed how much he enjoys the believability of the story, because it has a logical beginning to it, in his words, "the other Peter just comes out of nowhere, but this story tells the beginning."

Every chapter is quick, engaging and each one leaves you hanging. You find yourself desperate for the "and then what happened?"--almost irritated that the authors interrupt the excitement with a pan (pardon the pun) to the other characters. Except with each new pan you get caught up in those characters as much as you were with the one's you left. This tactic never leaves you with a decent option for "just one more chapter before bedtime". A wonderful story, beautifully illustrated and a must read before you or your children get a chance to grow up!

And as for those one star people-I feel genuinely sorry for them, as they probably don't like ice cream either.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginning for the Peter Pan saga September 16, 2004
Format:Hardcover
I've always liked the basic Peter Pan story, but was never as big a fan as I am of other classics like L. Frank Baum's "Oz" books, so ordinarily a prequel wouldn't necessarily interest me, but with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson writing this, I absolutely had to give it a chance. This unlikely collaboration turns out one of the best fantasy novels I've read in quite some time.

Like all great "children's" fantasy, the book is written on a level that's wonderfully accessible for kids but never condescends and alienates older readers. Our hero, Peter, is an orphan who is being whisked away across the ocean for purposes unknown. Aboard his ship is a mysterious trunk and a mysterious girl who seems to know a lot about it. The trunk is highly sought after, and a Peter finds a pirate ship hot on their trail.

Each of these writers bring something to the table -- Pearson's talent for writing the fantastic and Barry's sharp comedic wit combine to tell an excellent story that I enjoyed so much I'm anxious to go back and rediscover the original J.M. Barrie novel, just to see how many dots I can connect.

The book fills in a lot of the blanks for the original "Peter Pan," and one could easily read this and then leap to the original with no further bridges, however Barry and Pearson supposedly have two more "prequel" novels in the works. I'll definitely be in line to read them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
How did Peter Pan get to Neverland? Where did Tinkerbell come from? How did Hook loose his hand? And most importantly - how did Captain Hook and Peter Pan meet? This last question is the one which Paige Pearson asked her father after hearing "Peter Pan" which in turn led to Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's collaborative effort at "Peter and the Starcatchers", the prequel to J. M. Barrie's classic work of children's literature.

The result is decidedly mixed: although some components are marvellously clever and mysterious, others fail to engage the reader's imagination, and at some points they make the blasphemous mistake of tampering with the established facts of Barrie's invented world. Barrie's Neverland is the internal world of child's imagination, a place of escape and fantasy. Barry/Pearson change this concept, and Neverland goes from a place accessible only by following "the second star to the right and straight on till morning", to a standard desert island affected with external magic.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The story begins in London, where two ships are setting sail: "the Wasp" and "the Never Land" (how the ship got this rather odd name is sadly never explained). On board the Never Land are six young orphan boys, a young lady and her governess, and a mysterious trunk that has a strange effect on those carrying it aboard. Among the orphans is young Peter, who soon makes a tentative friendship with the young Molly, a girl who seems to have an agenda of her own upon the ship.

Meanwhile, the pirate ship "Sea Devil", led by its villainous Captain Black Stache is laying in wait for "The Wasp", and the great treasure that it is said to be carrying in its hold, a treasure beyond gold and jewels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my grandaughters favorites
my grandaughter loves this book and it got her into getting alot more books to read she especially wants to get ridley pearson's other books
Published 2 days ago by michelle weinstock
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
The description is right, you can not put this book down after you open it. When I first read this, I didn't want to read it at all. I got it as a gift and didn't touch it. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Eugenie
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun! would recommend to my nieces and nephews
This is a fun take on the Peter Pan legend. I would recommend this to my nieces and nephews. I expected a little more of Dave Barry's style in the book - a few things for the adult... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kathi Koenig
5.0 out of 5 stars A book worthy of children and adults alike.......
I recommend peter and the star catchers for children and their parents, or just adults because those who enjoy fantasy, suspense, and mystery will soon find themselves saying too... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Kirby Nebeker
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like the movie "Peter Pan"……
If you like the movie "Peter Pan," then you'll love "Peter and the Starcatchers"! This book is pretty much the whole back story of Peter's life. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Holliewants2gocamping
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book
I loved this book. at first when I started it for.book club, I kind of thought it was boring. but then I got to the good exciting parts. I AM SO READING THE SECOND BOOK!!!
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Dean
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a fun series.
Recently reread this prior to the Broadway musical. Read the series with my children years ago. We all enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by mnmom
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great gift!
Loved this book when I first read it - have given many copies as gifts in the years since, to adults as well as kids. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy Jeffrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great book!
This is supposed to be a young adult fiction, but I was so intrigued by it. There is mystery and adventure and it is fun to read how the authors make this a prequel to the Peter... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christy
5.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling Fantasy Adventure!
A wonderful adventure story. It's an interesting twist on the Peter Pan origin that makes Peter understandable and likeable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert
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