Friday, February 4, 2011

Book #7: Peter and the Starcatchers

I suppose it looks like I'm on something of a retelling-of-well-known-tales kick. I had heard that Dave Barry (yes, that Dave Barry) and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers, the first in a series of adventure novels aimed at children and young adults, set out to retell the story of Peter Pan. The premise, as I'm sure you could have guessed, drew me in, and I finally checked out the book from the library last week.

I read the whole 400+ page book in just one day (and it was a busy day, at that!). I was able to do so not primarily because of the quick style and Hi-Lo accessible reading level, but because my attention was held rapt throughout the entirety of the story. This first book in the series ends up being a prequel of sorts to the premise of the story of Peter Pan; throughout the book, each element of the story falls into place as Peter becomes able to fly, the Lost Boys band together, the pirate loses his hand to a massive crocodile... well, you get the idea. It's all there, even elements of the original Peter Pan that I didn't recall immediately on my own.

The book starts with Peter and some other orphans being led onto a ship bound for a foreign land with a cruel king--the ship is the Never Land, as it would happen. On the ship, a bit of mystery and intrigue seems to surround an otherwise inconspicuous trunk. The first mate makes sure it's guarded, a young girl seems to want to investigate, and a pirate schemes to get it for himself. Seeing just how what's in the trunk allows the whole story of Peter Pan to begin to take formation is really fascinating. The whole thing is extremely well-crafted, if a bit goofy with names (Black Stache? Fighting Prawn?).

I'd suggest this book to reluctant young male readers in particular, as I think the adventure and hints of familiarity would capture their attention. I'd also suggest it to anyone interested in a behind-the-scenes type look at a favorite story.

1 comment:

  1. I am enjoying your books reviews. You are inspiring me to try to get my library card. It might happen this week.

    In other news, my mother suggests you read "The 19th Wife" by David Ebershoff.