Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1)Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a creative retelling of Peter Pan! This book was compelling, exciting, and Peter felt like a real boy and not some magical creature.

To be honest, I’ve never read the original Peter Pan. My primary experience with Peter Pan is the Disney cartoon, though I’ve seen other Peter Pan related movies such as Hook (1991), Peter Pan (2003), and Finding Neverland (2004). So, I’m familiar with the various Peter Pan characters and what kinds of magical things happen around him.

Some could say, this is a story about how an orphaned boy named Peter became Peter Pan, but I’ll leave that the other reader’s discretion. I just know that the Peter in “Peter and the Starcatchers” came across as a real, adventuresome, curious, brave, and good-hearted boy who ends up doing great things.

The author uses all of the references of the original Peter Pan in fun ways. For example, Peter and his orphan friends (who turn out to be “the lost boys”) board a trade ship called “The Neverland” and there’s a substance called “starstuff” that makes people happy and also allows them to fly (how can you have a Peter Pan who doesn’t fly right?). There are savages, pirates, mermaids, a giant crocodile named Mr. Grin, and Smee – the pirate captain’s trusty sidekick.

I like the introduction of the “starstuff,” the concept is magical, fun, and gives the story a stirring adventure. We get a glimpse at how creatures like fairies, mermaids, and the lock ness monster were created in the world. When the starstuff was first introduced, I immediately thought about fairy dust and in the Disney Peter Pan version, there was a lot of emphasis on “happy thoughts” and flying. Was it the same? Apparently not, but I think the idea of the starstuff is a lot more exciting and ominous; it lends more scope to the imagination.

I highly recommend this story for young readers, especially those who enjoy Harry Potter. The story is written so well, that I think older readers would enjoy it too, but it will primarily satisfy the child in you.

I can’t wait to go through the next book in this series.

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