Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
Once upon a time there was a boy who could fly, and his adventures with pirates gained such fame that everyone knew Peter Pan. Alas, J. M. Barrie, who wrote Peterís tale, failed to answer such questions as to why Peter Pan could fly, how did the pirate captain acquire a hook for a hand, and from where did Tinkerbell come? Dave Barry, a writer of humor, and Ridley Pearson, who writes suspense, took on the task of answering those questions after Pearsonís daughter asked how Peter Pan met Captain Hook.
Peter and the Starcatchers opens in England where Peter and four other orphans find themselves bound for the docks to board the Never Land, an ďold and poorly keptĒ ship headed for Rundoon. Also aboard are Molly (daughter of an ambassador sailing on another vessel), Slank (who runs the ship because the captain is inept), and a mysterious chest. Unbeknownst to anyone on the Never Land, someone else knows about that chest Ė Black Stache, the most feared pirate on the High Seas. He will do whatever is necessary to secure the treasure, no matter who gets in his way. But he isnít the only one interested in the chestís secrets, and Peter teams with Molly to protect its treasure.
If you read only one book this year, it should be this one. It is a rousing adventure filled with awesome magic and riveting twists and turns that keep you spellbound. Although 451 pages, the chapters average two to four pages in length, making it an excellent bedtime story or one parents and children can read aloud together instead of watching television. Greg Callís drawings provide intricate glimpses of the story, and the black-and-white renderings provide the appropriate spice for whimsical intrigue, stormy seas, and vengeful pirate attacks. Peter and the Starcatchers is a memorable journey for all ages, and it answers all those questions J. M. Barrie left us to ponder in his classic tale of a boy who can fly and never ages.
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Book Review Copyright ©2004 Cindy Vallar
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