Select one of the keywords
Peter and the Starcatchers    by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson order for
Peter and the Starcatchers
by Dave Barry
Order:  USA  Can
Hyperion, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Peter is a fourteen-year-old orphan from St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys. He finds himself aboard a broken-down ship called the 'Never Land' with four other boys, destined to become slaves on an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. Peter becomes acquainted with Molly Aster, a rich girl traveling with her governess. One night, while searching for food, he observes marvelous things involving Molly that he cannot explain. She appears to talk with porpoises, and she knows something about the mysterious trunk being held in a locked room.

A notorious pirate, Black Stache (named for his long moustache), is in pursuit of another ship, The Wasp, rumored to be transporting a large treasure. But when Black Stache discovers that the supposed treasure is really on board the Never Land, he strikes off on a mad chase to claim it as his own. The pirates, passengers from both ships, and various other people intent on laying their hands on the treasure, all converge on Mollusk Island. What happens next is a tale that stretches the imagination and answers questions about how Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, and the other residents of Neverland came to be.

This fanciful, action-packed story is sure to please readers of all ages. The fascinating origins of each of the characters should satisfy anyone who has ever wondered how Peter Pan and Captain Hook first met and why they are so antagonistic. The characters are all well developed and readers will come to care about their fate. Peter is endearing and we want to see him escape enslavement by an evil king, and later to avoid being killed by Black Stache. The plot is sprinkled with humor, much of it tongue-in-cheek and very dry.

One thing I can't avoid mentioning is that poor editing drew me out of the story many times. Typos, words left out in the middle of sentences, and transposed words occur too often to have escaped a good editor's notice. Overall though, Peter and the Starcatchers delights with adventure, friendship, the battle of good vs. evil, and many fascinating characters. And audio book enthusiasts will be happy to note that the audio version of this book is read by Jim Dale, the award-winning narrator of the Harry Potter series.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Teens books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews