Always Neverland

Always Neverland

4.8 6
by Zoe Barton

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Move over, Wendy Darling.
There's a new girl in Neverland!

Swimming with mermaids, fighting off pirates, and befriending Tiger Lily is all Ashley can think about when she finds Peter Pan in her room one night. With a pinch of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, she follows him all the way to Neverland.

But Ashley's plans for adventure are thwarted when


Move over, Wendy Darling.
There's a new girl in Neverland!

Swimming with mermaids, fighting off pirates, and befriending Tiger Lily is all Ashley can think about when she finds Peter Pan in her room one night. With a pinch of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, she follows him all the way to Neverland.

But Ashley's plans for adventure are thwarted when Peter and the Lost Boys expect her to be the new "Wendy girl" and help with the spring cleaning. Spring cleaning? This is not what Ashley has in mind!

Will Ashley win them over?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Debut novelist Barton delivers a modern take on Peter Pan, as Peter and Tinker Bell fly feisty 11-year-old narrator Ashley off to Neverland. Much is made of the lineage of "Wendy girls," who mother the Lost Boys and supervise spring cleaning, as well as how independent Ashley fails to fit this traditional mold ("The other Wendy girls had to be a bunch of pushovers if they just helped the Lost Boys do all their chores without a peep of protest"). Instead, Ashley seeks her own adventures, outwits Captain Hook, and befriends mermaids. Barton has fun creating her own Neverland lore, including trees that can sprout sandwiches and a raid of a fairy colony to collect dust. Well-loved Peter Pan characters also get 21st-century twists, such as the crocodile who swallows Ashley's mother's iPod and announces his approach with Christmas carols. Though none of the characters, including Ashley herself, fully materialize as much more than archetypes upon which they are based, middle-grade readers ought to find Barton's restaging a lighthearted introduction to the classic story. Ages 8�12. Agent: Nancy Coffey Literary. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Ashley's plans for an exciting Christmas vacation do not seem to be going well as her parents seem to forget to spend time with her. However, a flying boy who Ashley recognizes as Peter Pan appears in her room and she reconsiders a dull Christmas. He wants to return Ashley to Neverland as the new "Wendy girl." But Ashley does not want to be a typical "Wendy girl" who takes care of the Lost Boys. Ashley defends the Lost Boys' trees from pirates and the Never birds and earns herself a sword. When the mermaid, Buttercup, is captured by pirates, Ashley must rescue her as well as warn Peter and his companions. This adventurous story takes the traditional Peter Pan and adds Ashley's no-nonsense "she-power" personality to all of the familiar elements: Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, dim-witted pirates. The ending is somewhat of a let-down as loose ends tie up a little too neatly. The addition of rescuing the mermaid is a nice touch and this novel would make a nice read-aloud for third or fourth grade readers. It is an enjoyable beginning for a first novel with a strong, slightly disgruntled middle school narrator. Preteen female fantasy readers can especially cheer for Ashley as the new Wendy girl. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
VOYA - Amy Wyckoff
When Peter Pan appears in Ashley's bedroom, she jumps at the chance to accompany him to enchanted Neverland, especially since her parents have been too busy to spend time with her. Ashley has adventure on her mind, but Pan and the Lost Boys are only interested in her help with spring cleaning and her ability to serve as a mother to them. Ashley sets about showing the boys that their ideas of "Wendy girls" are outdated and unsound; during her days in Neverland she steals Hook's hat, outsmarts a band of pirates, solves the Lost Boys' problem with the grumpy Neverbirds, saves a mermaid and her treasures, rescues Peter Pan himself, and creates a memorable Christmas celebration for the homesick Lost Boys. Ashley returns to her home just in time to spend Christmas Eve with her parents, discovering that her mother was once a "Wendy girl" as well. Neverland comes alive through colorful descriptions of each location Ashley visits and each character she befriends. Food trees hang heavy with cheeseburgers and french fries, while brilliant white and purple fairies brighten the sky. This tale is one of adventure and wonderment as Ashley explores Neverland. Middle schoolers will enjoy the chance to relive the classic tale they loved as small children through the eyes of a girl their own age. Reviewer: Amy Wyckoff
Kirkus Reviews

A petulant brat brings Girl Power to a Neverland devoid of whimsy and charm in this unnecessary sequel to Peter Pan.

Sixth-grader Ashley feels very sorry for herself:Her parents actually have to work the weekend before Christmas, rather than stay home and fulfill her fantasy of the perfect holiday.Fortunately, she finds a strange boy trying to catch his shadow in her bedroom, instantly recognizing him and the potential for adventure. One quick glue job later, Ashley flies off as the latest "Wendy girl." But she has no intention of mothering the Lost Boys or doing the Spring Cleaning; her heart is set on fighting pirates and meeting mermaids. Alas, what could have been a witty, spirited romp is marred by the unlikable heroine, who, despite being a bossy self-centered showoff, is instantly better at everything (flying, sword-fighting, pretending) than everybody else and has little trouble making herself adored by all denizens of the fantasy isle. Peter himself has all of the arrogance and heartlessness of the original, but none of his cleverness and charisma. While the short chapters and frequent cliffhangers sustain a brisk pace, the plot and setting tepidly rehash Barrie's version with a few extra details borrowed from Narnia and Oz.

There are many good stories still to tell about the Boy Who Never Grew Up, butthis isn't one of them. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Zoe Barton grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated from Vassar College. After working in publishing for a year, she left New York City to write full-time. She currently divides her time between Oregon, Montana, and North Carolina. This is her first novel.

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Always Neverland 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a modern take on peter pan. Loved the chp "another use for super glue". Any fan of fantasy & peter pan will love this book. It light heartedness & wit will encapture readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was very cute recomend it to 7year old girls+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth the money I invested. Wrapped up quit nicely. I loved the story line-it was a perfect blend of adventure, fun, and Neverland.
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