Escape from the Carnivale (Never Land Series #1)

Overview

Little Scallop should be happy. She’s a princess of the Mollusk tribe, rulers of beautiful Mollusk Island. And she has two fun friends - Aqua and Surf - who just happen to be mermaids.

But Little Scallop is bored. Her warrior brothers are allowed to do exciting things, like spying on the pirates who live on the other side of the island. Little Scallop longs to have a real adventure. When Aqua and Surf invite her to go pearl-diving - even though...

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Overview

Little Scallop should be happy. She’s a princess of the Mollusk tribe, rulers of beautiful Mollusk Island. And she has two fun friends - Aqua and Surf - who just happen to be mermaids.

But Little Scallop is bored. Her warrior brothers are allowed to do exciting things, like spying on the pirates who live on the other side of the island. Little Scallop longs to have a real adventure. When Aqua and Surf invite her to go pearl-diving - even though she knows she shouldn’t - she can’t resist.

So late one night, she sneaks off into forbidden waters with Aqua and Surf. That’s when the trouble starts - they run into a fierce storm and a strange ship sailed by men who would love to capture a mermaid. Soon, Little Scallop is caught up in the adventure she always wanted. The question is: can she and her friends get out of it?

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  • Ridley Pearson & Dave Barry
    Ridley Pearson & Dave Barry  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Thanks to this new spin-off series, Peter, Molly, and the pirates have hit the beach for young readers. The characters of the Peter and the Starcatchers novels reappear in this absorbing story about life on Mollusk Island. The plot begins percolating when Little Scallop and some of her mermaid friends venture beyond boundaries set by their parents. Crookshank's crew snatch little Surf and take her aboard their ship. Devilishly, they intend to make her a sideshow action in their circus at sea. Fortunately, Little Scallop, Teacher, James, and Aqua cobble together a plan to rescue her in the nick of time. A sweet story for readers 7 to 10.
Publishers Weekly
Devotees of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's prequels to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan (Peter and the Starcatchers; Peter and the Shadow Thieves) will want to check out their Escape from the Carnivale, illus. by Greg Call, the first in a Never Land Adventure series told from the viewpoint of the creatures that give Mollusk Island its name. Little Scallop, daughter of chief mollusk Fighting Prawn, befriends mermaids Aqua and Surf who gets kidnapped by humans. It's up to Little Scallop to save her. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Triss Robinson
This delightful story from the "Never Land Book" series is an adventure that will appeal to both young boys and girls alike. The story is make believe. It involves an island, natives, pirates, lost boys, mermaids and a bored young princess called Little Scallop who is ready for an adventure with her two mermaid friends. The two mermaids convince Little Scallop to go to the Great Reef and look for beautiful pearls. Since Little Scallop's father, the chief, has forbidden her from ever leaving the lagoon, they decide to wait and go after everyone is asleep that night. What they find at the Great Reef is not pearls, but a ship intent on catching unusual sea animals for their variety show. One of the mermaids gets caught in their net and is captured. This is where the adventure really starts for Little Scallop. Enlisting the help from the other mermaids and the lost boys from the island, they develop a dangerous plan to free the mermaid while having to deal with a group of angry pirates from the island bent on taking the ship for themselves. There is humor and lively action in this story, which makes it delightfully entertaining for young readers.
School Library Journal

Gr 3–6
The incomparable Jim Dale narrates Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's latest book (Disney Editions, 2006) in the Never Land series. Little Scallop, a princess of the Mollusk tribe, disobeys her father and decides to go exploring beyond the immediate seashore with her best friends, Aqua and Surf. The two mermaids take Little Scallop on a pearl diving expedition that leads them to the mysterious and dangerous part of Mollusk Island. Little Scallop, always jealous of her older brothers' adventures, gets a bit more than she bargained for when Surf is captured by a ship full of greedy men who have a traveling freak show. Horrible storms, Captain Hook, bizarre sea monsters, and frightening creatures are encountered in order to free Surf. Many familiar characters from Peter Pan make appearances. Dale gives a brilliant performance, using different voices and accents to differentiate the characters, and a well-paced narration to build suspense in this fantasy filled with humor.
—B. Allison GrayCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Disobeying their elders, Little Scallop and her mermaid friends Aqua and Surf go out past the reef in search of beautiful pearls. Unfortunately, Surf is captured by sailors on The Carnivale, a sideshow ship. To the rescue come James of the lost boys and some dolphin friends who combine to free the mermaid moments before the pirates would have arrived, if it weren't for the timely appearance of the giant crocodile still chasing Captain Hook. This Never Land adventure, first of a series for younger readers by the authors of the bestselling Peter and the Starcatchers (2004), lacks much more than Peter Pan. The stock characters have a completely predictable adventure in a stereotyped setting. The pirate subplot is unconvincing and unnecessary. Although the book is relatively short, the vocabulary and sentence structure are not noticeably easier than those for older readers and will be challenging for the intended audience. Older reluctant readers, however, may find the familiarity reassuring and the nonstop action an incentive to finishing. (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson

Ridley Pearson isthe award-winning, best-selling author of Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark, Kingdom KeepersII: Disney at Dawn, and Kingdom Keepers III:Disney in Shadow, as well as Steel Trapp- The Challenge and SteelTrapp-The Academy. Ridley has also coauthored, along with Pulitzer Prizewinning writer Dave Barry, the Peter and the Starcatchers series. Ridley, his wife, Marcelle, and their two daughters divide their time between St. Louis,Missouri, and Sun Valley, Idaho.

Greg Call studied graphic design at the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver. After graduating in 1983, he worked as an Art Director at the Colorado Institute of Art until the desire to do more illustrative work found him in Pasadena, California, attending The Art Center College of Design. Upon graduation in 1988, he began working freelance for clients in music, entertainment, and publishing. Greg has been recognized for his work repeatedly, including awards from the Society of Illustrators and Addy awards among others.

Biography

Crime may not always pay, but crime fiction always sells, and Ridley Pearson is one of the stars of the genre, the kind of writer whose royalties keep his family fed and cover a few extras as well (like, say, his own airplane). Yet Pearson didn't spend his youth dreaming of bestsellerdom. His first ambition was to be a musician, and he spent most of his twenties writing and performing folk-rock songs. The idea that he might become a novelist came later. As he explained in a Barnes and Noble interview, he was reading a Robert Ludlum novel when "a voice spoke up from inside me and said, 'I can do this.'" (Once he began writing and discovered firsthand the skill involved in crafting a cohesive thriller, he realized how much he had presumed!)

Pearson is renowned for fast-paced, thrill-a-minute suspense novels that include "a rare humanism and attention to detail" (Publishers Weekly). In a Greenwich Magazine interview he called his work "aerobic fiction, because I hope to get your heart pounding and get you turning pages." Entertainment Weekly dubbed him "the thinking person's Robert Ludlum."

As his fans know, Pearson works hard at nailing the details of forensic investigation and police procedure. In Undercurrents (the first novel in his Seattle-based Lou Boldt mystery series) his research was so thorough—he consulted an expert in oceanography—that the book helped convict an actual murderer. A Washington state prosecuting attorney happened to be reading it while working on a case similar to Pearson's fictional one: A woman's body had been found in a bay, and at first it appeared that she had committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. The oceanographer mentioned in Pearson's acknowledgments was called in as an expert witness to help prove that, based on tidal currents, the woman must have been dead before the time her husband claimed to have last seen her. Due largely to the expert testimony, the victim's husband was convicted of second-degree murder.

Of course, there's more to a Pearson novel than research. "Just what is it about Ridley Pearson that makes him the best damn thriller writer on the planet?" mused Bill Ott in BookList. "We've celebrated the forensic detail, the taut plotting, the multidimensional characters, and the screw-tightening suspense, but lots of fiction writers do all that. Here's a theory: Pearson is a master at manipulating opposites. His stories are forever jumping from high concept to small scale, from positive to negative charges, manipulating our emotions and minds with their polar hip-hopping."

When he's not writing, Pearson still makes music—he's the bass guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, an amateur rock band made up of professional writers including Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom (the group's motto, coined by Barry: "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels").

It was while Pearson was in Miami to play with the Rock Bottom Remainders that he told Barry about his idea (actually, daughter Paige's idea) for a prequel to Peter Pan. The two authors had such a good time hashing out possibilities over breakfast that Pearson asked Barry to write the book with him. Published in 2004, their clever collaboration Peter and the Starcatchers became a huge bestseller, spawning two sequels (Peter and the Shadow Thieves in 2006 and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon in 2007) and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Even though Pearson thoroughly enjoys crafting juvenile fiction, his adult fans need not worry that he's abandoned his high-voltage crime novels. Indeed, he has said that writing gives him the same "adrenaline rush," no matter which audience he is targeting: Readers of all ages appreciate the imagination, suspense, and an impeccable eye for detail he brings to all his fiction.

Good To Know

Pearson calls himself a workaholic, "not so much by desire as out of necessity," since he reserves a lot of time for his two young daughters. His hobbies, which he now defines as "something you once did and no longer have the time for," include recreational tree climbing, fly-fishing, backyard volleyball, snow boarding—and, of course, bass guitar in his rock band. An avid reviser, Pearson says, "I'm said to have a nervous, worrying disposition, but rarely feel I live up to that description—perhaps internal calm is expressed as external nervosa."

Pearson loves to travel, especially to southern France, with wife Marcelle and second child Storey, who is adopted from China. We're certain to do a good deal of international travel in the years to come. He also attends local symphony and theater. But his "favorite avocation is to spend an evening around our dining table with two or three other couples. This, I feel, is where many of the world's ills are solved, and many souls restored. Mine, especially."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Wendell McCall; Joyce Reardon
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 13, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Glen Cove, New York
    1. Education:
      Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
    2. Website:

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