Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series #1)

( 374 )

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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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: 9781469257242
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 11/1/2012
  • Series: Starcatchers Series , #1
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 771,739
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson is the best-selling co-author of Peter and the Starcatchers and Peter and the Shadow Thieves. He is also the author of fourteen novels, including Cut and Run, The Middle of Nowhere, The Pied Piper, Beyond Recognition, No Witnesses, The First Victim, Undercurrents, and Parallel Lies. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University. In addition, he secretly wrote The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, which was a companion book to the ABC-TV production of Stephen King's Rose Red.

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 4.5
( 374 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(291)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 375 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 13, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for TeensReadToo.com

    It's always interesting, at least to me, to read a book that is the retelling of a beloved childhood tale. Whether it be a retold fairy tale such as SNOW WHITE or SLEEPING BEAUTY, or a classic such as PETER PAN, these new spins on old stories usually fall into one of two categories--terribly bad remakes, or truly amazing, imaginative stories with new twists. Thankfully, authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS into the latter. <BR/><BR/>In this rendering, Peter is an orphan about the ship Never Land. He's become the leader of sorts to the other young orphans who have been sold into slavery to King Zarboff the Third, evil ruler of Rundoon. Not long after Peter and his boys board the boat, he meets Molly Aster. The fourteen-year old daughter of the new Ambassador of Rundoon is unlike any other girl Peter has ever met. Actually, the only other girl he remembers seeing in a very long time was the daughter of the Headmaster of St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys. <BR/><BR/>Peter's increasing infatuation with Molly is challenged when she lets him in on a secret--she is an apprentice Starcatcher, one who guards the magical starstuff from the Others who would use it to do harm. Starstuff is magic that, when it falls to Earth, it brings about increased intelligence, happiness, and even the ability to fly. Although Peter is, at first, quite skeptical of Molly and her Starcatcher business, he soon learns that she's being nothing but truthful. <BR/><BR/>Add to the story the dreaded Pirate Black Stache and the evil pirate crew of the ship the Sea Devil, and you have an interesting story. Throw in the a shipwreck, a missing cargo of starstuff, mermaids, a flying crocodile, and island dwellers that just may be cannibals, and the story goes from interesting to amazing. This is a remarkable retelling, or possibly even a prequel, to the well known story of PETER PAN. Kudos to both Mr. Barry and Mr. Pearson for a highly entertaining and thoroughly engrossing read!

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 18, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read for All Ages

    I'd seen this book many times at book stores and never given it a second glance. One day I decided to read the summary on the back and decided it looked slightly interesting. When I read it, I absolutely loved it. I've never really been into Peter Pan, but I thought these books were amazing. They had a perfect balance of fantasy and action. I'm only twelve, but I could see myself enjoying this if I was either much younger or much older. It's not violent when there's action and it's never to wordy or long. I would reccomend this book to anyone!

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Someone Unknown Here?

    WOW! Best book EVER!!! It's my top favorite! I don't know what to say because I'm speachless! I love to read and this book was the best book that I've read since I was three! (I was three when I started reading.) That's why it deserves 5 of the brightest stars! Everything in it was good! It's good for anyone that can read! I'm eleven and I enjoyed it SO much!



    WARNING: there's some violence in this book and it says one swear word so be careful with what you read!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ONE AND THE SEQUELS!!!! IT IS THE #1 OF MY

    YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ONE AND THE SEQUELS!!!!
    IT IS THE #1 OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS!!!! YOU WILL ABSOULUTLY LOVE IT!!!!

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Good

    This is an excellent book. I reccomend this to readers in middle school and above. It is a little boing in the beginning but other than that its really good. It is confusing in the beginning because you dont know whats going on until one of the later chapters. Its also a page turner because it really keeps you guessing until the very end. Read this book!!!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Peter and the Starcatchers is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This seems like a very interesting book that I can't wait to read! It is adds a cool twist to the classical Peter Pan story.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Perfect Peter Pan Prequel

    Well written and fun! This is a book for any age reader. It begins the story of the Lost Boys with a look at their humble Dickens-like beginnings. Their adventure takes off and weaves the reader through a make- believe world filled with characters for the ages. I look forward to the rest of the series and will make sure to see the Broaway version in 2012.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sure to Captivate Your Mind and Steal Your Heart!

    "Peter and the Starcatchers," by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is the first novel in the best-selling "Starcatchers" series. The series centers around world-renowned hero Peter Pan and answers all mysterious questions surrounding him: How did Peter come to Never Land? Who is Peter Pan, truly? Where did he come from? Authors Barry and Pearson do a fantastic job of making the story exciting and impossible to put down, as they reveal the full story of Peter's past in a cool, never-before-imagined way! Filled to the brim with mystery, suspense, humor, and everything else that makes a book worth reading, this amazing adventure is sure to captivate your mind and steal your heart!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    The Greatest book ever!!

    A definate page turner I did not want to put the book down. There is a suprise on every page!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    Wow

    That is all i can say. Wow. Wow...wow....wow......wow!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Read this book

    I could not put this book down

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Hna student

    I read all four of the books. U think u knew the famous peter pan wel u know very feq about peter if u have not read these books. It starts before peter ever meets tinker bell or captain Hook. It doesn't end with Hook either. There is more friends and enemys u ever knew about. If i got my twin sister to read this and love the book then u well love it too. I was all ways running to get the next book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Cant wait to read it!

    I am definatly going to read this im ten, finished the hunger games at 9 years ( lol ) , read the whole ink heart series at 9 and 10. Don't you think I can handle it?



    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Great!

    This is a great and entertaining read for those of all ages. WONDERFUL.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    Loved it!

    So I was in the mood for something light and just a bit brainless, and dove into my daughter’s shelves for the first book in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s Peter Pan prequels, called “Peter and the Starcatchers.” And oh, what fun this was.

    The story is essentially the adventure that got Peter and the Lost Boys to Neverland, introduced his pirate nemesis (here called The Black Stache, as he’s pre-hook), and birthed Tinkerbell. Barry and Pearson did an awesome job of creating characters full of personality and a thirst for adventure, and villains worthy of the name.

    This book was a joy to read. It’s absolutely suitable for kids (for whom it was written) as well as adults craving light, fun adventure.

    4 of 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME!

    I read this book a while back, and it has been one of my favorite books since then! I have always loved Peter Pan, so the prospect of a prequel was amazing! Peter and the Starcatchers, along with the other two books i the trilogy, were all fantastic. I love the adventure, the action, the humor, and the little bit of romance. The ending of Secret to Rundoon made me cry (in a good kid of way). If you love fantasy, adventure, Peter Pan, or just plain a really good big book trilogy, READ THIS BOOK. And if you don't, READ THIS BOOK! :) My point: It rocks!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    Starcatcher

    Peter and the Starcatchers is a thrilling adventure that takes you through the many stages of how Peter Pan came to be. When Peter is sailing on ships he makes a new exciting friend named Molly. Peter and Molly have to go through many phases to protect a treasure that everyone wants. The only reason that Black Stache (Captin Hook) wants the treasure is because it has some magical quality about it. So start reading the books so you can get your magic to fly you through the exciting adventures.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    OK so far, but the text is messed up.

    The chapter "The Messenger" is all messed up. It keeps repeating the same pages and never lets me get past the page with the picture. If I do it keeps going back 3 pages as if on a loop. I had to go to Contents and just start with the next chapter.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Amazing

    Get this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Loved it.

    I just loved the book so much. It was one the best books i had ever read. Read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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