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

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

4.1 18
by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson

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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

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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

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
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

Disney Press
Publication date:
Starcatchers Series
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 3.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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.

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Brief Biography

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

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