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Peter and the Starcatchers: The Starcatchers Series, Books 1-3

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Overview

In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil.

Award-winning authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock and revealed a wonderful story that precedes J. M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed ...

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2009 Trade paperback Disney Editions New. Three volumes in slipcase. Still in original shrinkwrap. 3 volume set. Includes illustrations. Three trade pbks in slipcase. New boxed ... three trade-pbk books set in original shrink-wrap. Read more Show Less

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Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series #1)

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Overview

In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil.

Award-winning authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock and revealed a wonderful story that precedes J. M. Barrie's beloved Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed characters, from the scary but somehow familiar Black Stache and the ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and the fearless Peter. Page after page of riveting adventures take readers on a journey from a filthy, crime-ridden port in old England across the turbulent seas. Aboard the Never Land is a trunk that holds a magical substance that amazes -- just a sprinkle, and wounds heal; just a dusting, and people can fly.

Roiling seas and dangerous thunderstorms are the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing waves eventually land our characters on Prawn Island -- where the action really heats up.

This impossible-to-put-down tale leads readers on an unforgettable journey, fraught with danger yet filled with mystical and magical things.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson turn back the clock and set their sights on younger readers, teaming up for an action-packed prequel to J. M. Barrie's classic Peter Pan. Fast paced and brimming with seafaring adventure, Barry and Ridley's modern update returns to pre–Never Land days, quickly zeroing in on Peter, now a "wayward boy" who finds himself aboard a ship (called the Never Land) with other chums from St. Norbert's. Soon, Peter meets the headmaster's mysterious daughter and persuades her to reveal her secret about a chest full of "starstuff" -- a substance that can make people fly and give them other magical qualities -- that's being claimed by the British throne. Unfortunately, the scheming pirate Black Stache has his own plans for the powder-filled chest, and the plot thickens as readers are whisked from dramatic high-seas battles to a deserted island, where the dreaded villain eventually loses his hand to the legendary crocodile and where Peter makes his home. From beginning to end, the authors don't skimp on cliff-hanging turns of events, dishing up an inventive spin on Peter Pan's background that should sit well with audiences young and old. If you pick up Barrie's original first, Ridley and Barry's book won't suffer by comparison, a true testament to this team's remarkable writing style; and if you haven't yet read Barrie, Peter and the Starcatchers will make you eager to experience Peter Pan. With Disney at the helm of this book, too, the film promises to be but a heartbeat away. Matt Warner
From The Critics
Ever wonder how Captain Hook lost his hand to a crocodile? Then crack open this thoroughly entertaining prequel to Peter Pan. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Barry and bestselling thriller writer Pearson tie up loose ends with a rollicking story that stretches from an English orphanage across a turbulent sea to faraway Mollusk Island. (Ages 8 to 12)
Child magazine's Best Children's Book Awards 2004
Publishers Weekly
"Bestselling adult authors Barry and Pearson imagine a rollicking adventure as a prequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan," wrote PW. Ages 10-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This Peter Pan prequel hooks readers on the first page. Luring readers with mysterious characters and treasure, cliffhanging chapters reel them in and heighten the suspense even though most readers will know where the story is headed. Most of the familiar characters are present: Captain Hook (named Black Stache), pirates, the Lost Boys, Indians, Tinkerbell, and the crocodile (Mister Grin). New characters, particularly resourceful Molly Aster and the secretive Starcatchers, add to the lore. Sailing aboard the dilapidated Never Land, Peter and fellow orphans seem destined for servitude in King Zarboff's Rundoon court until a storm shipwrecks them on an island. A trunk filled with magical starstuff connects characters as they scheme, manipulate, deceive, and steal to secure the life-enhancing dust. The theme of good versus evil prevails. Sadistic Black Stache delights in cruelly assaulting both his crew and enemies. Peter loyally comforts and defends his friends. The trunk's possession alternates between honorable protectors and greedy thieves. Humor buoys even the grittiest, most horrendous scenes; some can be risque such as the pirates' brassiere sail and the amorous antics of Molly's chaperone, Mrs. Bumbrake, with daft Captain Slank. Readers will not be surprised by the plot resolutions. This book's obvious pairing is J.M. Barrie's original Peter Pan texts, and readers should also consider Avi's pirate adventure, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1990). 2004, Disney/Hyperion, Ages 10 up.
—Elizabeth D. Schafer
KLIATT
An orphan boy named Peter, a fierce pirate, and sparkly stuff that lets you fly...there's something familiar about this book. Yes, indeed, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have written a prequel to Peter Pan, showing how many of its most beloved icons came to be. Orphan Peter and his friends are sent off to become servants of evil King Zarboff III of Rungoon. But their ship is taken over by pirates, led by the infamous Black Stache, and soon everyone finds themselves on an uncharted island with crocodiles, mermaids and a trunk full of magical "starstuff" that many are willing to kill for. Peter and the brave Molly must find a way to get the trunk to the proper authorities, however great the risk to their own lives. This is a rollicking good adventure and a delight for Peter Pan fans of all ages. For all collections. KLIATT Codes: JS--Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2004, Hyperion, 451p., $7.99.. Ages 12 to 18.
—Deirdre Root
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This prequel to Peter Pan refers as much to the 1953 animated Disney film as to J. M. Barrie's original play and novel. The early chapters introduce the archetypal antagonists: Peter, leader of a group of orphan boys being sent into slavery aboard the Never Land, and Black Stache, a fearsome pirate who commands a villainous crew. New characters include Molly Aster and her father. Molly, at 14, is an apprentice Starcatcher, a secret society formed to keep evildoers from obtaining "starstuff," magic material that falls to earth and conveys happiness, power, increased intelligence, and the ability to fly. Inevitably, the ships wreck off a tropical island and a trunk of starstuff is temporarily lost. Here, readers meet more familiar characters: the mermaids in their lagoon; the indigenous people who live in the jungle (modern versions of Barrie's redskins); and, of course, the crocodile. The authors plait multiple story lines together in short, fast-moving chapters, with the growing friendship between Molly and Peter at the narrative's emotional center. Capitalizing on familiar material, this adventure is carefully crafted to set the stage for Peter's later exploits. This smoothly written page-turner just might send readers back to the original.-Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A much-loved humorist and a renowned writer of adult thrillers make a strong combined crossover bid with this compulsively readable prequel to Peter Pan. The plot revolves around a trunk full of "starstuff," a celestial substance that induces both feelings of well-being and unpredictable physical changes (the ability to fly or to stop aging) in those who handle it. When a secret society called Starcatchers tries transporting the starstuff to safety, the shipment is hijacked for nefarious purposes by the wonderfully named Slank-after which it changes hands over and over as a quintet of orphans led by alpha male Peter, feared pirate Black Stache (named for his facial hair), mermaids, island folk, and an oversized crocodile dubbed Mister Grin are thrown into the never-a-dull-moment plot. Despite continual danger and violence, wounds and corpses disappear with Disney-like speed, and by the end, all the major characters except Wendy and sibs appear onstage (and Black Stache is ready for a new moniker). This doesn't capture the subtler literary qualities of its progenitor, but readers drawn by authorial star power or swashbuckling will come away satisfied. (Fiction. 11-13, adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423123736
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Series: Starcatchers Series
  • Pages: 1568
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 3.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize - winning author of more than a dozen books, including Dave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far); The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog; Dave Barry's Money Secrets; Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys; Dave Barry Slept Here; Big Trouble; and Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway. Along with Ridley Pearson, he is the co-author of Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Escape from the Carnivale, and Cave of the Dark Wind. Ridley Pearson is the best-selling author of eighteen novels, including Steel Trapp; The Kingdom Keepers; Killer Weekend; Cut and Run; The Body of David Hayes; The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer; Beyond Recognition; Parallel Lies; and No Witnesses. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.

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

In the introduction to Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down, the author addresses the desirability of his job as a humor writer and syndicated columnist. "It looks so easy!" he wrote. "...Every year, hundreds of thousands of people try their hand at this demanding profession. After a few months, almost all of them have given up and gone back to the ninth grade."

Yes, Barry is juvenile at times -- but he has achieved the kind of success that can only come from combining a juvenile mind with intelligence, timing, and a keen eye for the absurd. Favorite Barry targets include government inanity, dogs, guys, the Internet, and other oddities of life. He also specializes in weird news and urban myths involving UFO hunters, Pop-Tart science, and toilets. Many of these essays feature the line that has become his catchphrase, "I am not making this up." (Unless, of course, he is introducing something serious and daunting such as a book about the federal government, in which case he reassures that he has made everything up.)

Usually, though, he's not making it up. What he's doing is making it very funny. Whether the target is Congress or commercials, Barry refuses to take anything seriously, least of all himself – but he manages to convey some pretty indicting truths in the process. He's a master of irony and visual punchlines, sometimes interrupting himself with lists, snippets of dialogue, or other on-topic digressions. On the subject of turning 50 and dealing with waning eyesight (a "good thing" about aging, because "you can't read anything"), Barry describes finding restaurant menus suddenly printed "in letters the height of bacteria." He continues: "For some reason, everybody else seemed to be able to read the menus. Not wishing to draw attention to myself, I started ordering my food by simply pointing to a likely looking blur.

ME (pointing to a blur): I'll have this.
WAITER: You'll have "We Do Not Accept Personal Checks"?
ME: Make that medium rare."

Barry has had the most successful and prolific publishing career of any working newspaper columnist, and his humor never seems to go out of style. In 1999, he decided to try his hand at fiction. The result was Big Trouble, a comic thriller à la Carl Hiassen (though filled more with gags than guns) that Entertainment Weekly proclaimed "... not only very funny, [but] sure-footed, even-handed, levelheaded, and other leading book review adjectives." In 2004, he and Ridley Pearson collaborated on Peter and the Starcatchers, a clever prequel to Peter Pan that spawned two additional novels and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Along with several other published authors, Barry is a member of the musical group Rock Bottom Remainders. In assessing the band's talents, he has been quoted as saying: "They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud."

Good To Know

The Rock Bottom Remainders was originally organized by a publicist to perform at the 1992 American Booksellers Association convention. The members -- which include (or have included) Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Barbara Kingsolver, Mitch Albom, and Matt Groening -- even took their show on the road at one point, turning it into the now out-of-print Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude.

Some things never change: Barry was elected class clown by his Pleasantville High School class in 1965.

Barry got his start in journalism at the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, then worked as a business writing consultant before joining the Miami Herald in 1983.

Attempts to convert Barry's humor to the screen have been less than memorable. The early '90s CBS sitcom based on two of his books and starring Harry Anderson, Dave's World, was short-lived; the spring 2002 release Big Trouble, starring Tim Allen, didn't fare well at the box office. Barry did, however, get a cameo in the latter.

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    1. Hometown:
      Miami, Florida
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Armonk, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Haverford College, 1969
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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  • Posted April 4, 2009

    BEST BOOKS EVER!!!

    i havent read the third book yet,but the first two books were amazing! they are impossible to put down! The authors did an amazing job of createing a story to explain how peter pan became peter pan. They are the best books i have EVER read, and i have read alot of books! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    BEST SERIES EVER!!!!!

    This hole series book pulls you in and makes you never want to stop reading! It's full of adventure,mystery,and fantasy! Every little part fits in and means something at the end. I never want the Peter and the Starcatchers series to end.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Better than the real thing !

    These books are amazing. This series is a remake of peter pan the first book starting off with how Peter became well, Peter Pan and how he came to know the lost boys and live on Neverland. I liked these books better than the real Peter Pan book. Each book is filled with excitement and treasure. It was not predictable like I thought it would be...This book will be loved by both girls and boys alike. One thing that needs to be said about it though is that in the first book there is a usuage of the D word by one of the piarates but otherwise these books would be ideal...

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  • Posted April 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Couldn't stop reading even though my grandson had fallen asleep

    As a fan of Dave Barry, I was surprised to see his name on the book my 11 year old grandson was carrying around. Curiosity about Barry's writing led me inside, but once there I was quickly caught up in the story. I cajoled my grandson into letting me read aloud to him. I love to read in the different voices (especially Ombra's) and see his face as he listens. In the Mystery of Rungoon, the author explains the origins of Starcatchers in terms that inspire pre-teens to think. Then he cleverly explains hitherto unrevealed information about the Lost Boys. I have always wondered how the clock inside the croc could keep on ticking--and now I know! Although I hate for this book to end, I am looking forward to the 4th book.

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