Peter and the Starcatchers is a prequel to Peter Pan. How did Peter end up on that island? How did he learn to fly? How did Captain Hook's hand get bit off? Where did Tinkerbell come from?
In a nonstop, rip-roaring adventure on the sea and on a desert island, Barry and Pearson give us their interpretation. There is quite a bit of magic that serves to save the day. The reader gets several perspectives -- Peter's as well as Captain Stache (the pirate), Slank (the first mate from Peter's ship), the "cannibals" on the island, the mermaids, and maybe a few more.
There is a magical trunk that they are all after and it jumps from character to character; it is even in the mermaids' possession for a while. Every time we are SURE the bad guys will prevail (wink, wink). And I'll be darn if every time somehow the trunk gets away and passed on to someone else. The reader is "fooled" several times into thinking that all is well, the trunk and Peter and his friends are safe, only to watch the trunk get snatched away in some inventive escapade.
It's all very entertaining and exciting -- if you're ten years old. I found it to just go on a bit too long. I'm not a huge high fantasy fan and when magic saves the day (over and over) I just get bored.
The best part is that Jim Dale narrates the audio version. I mean really, he's incredible. I missed the illustrations in the book, but I got Jim Dale's voices instead.
I did enjoy how everything kind of ties up to the classic Peter Pan story at the end. Very clever. Definitely recommend Peter and the Starcatchers to your middle school kids. There are at least three more books in the series for those that can't get enough.
Published by Disney-Hyperion, 2004 (Brilliance Audio)
Audiobook obtained from SYNC YA Audiobooks
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