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Children's LiteratureThis children's classic by Scottish writer. J. M. Barrie, has been republished in its original form. First published in 1911, the story and its themes have become deeply rooted in the consciousness of English-speaking people. Peter Pan, who is a narcissistic, underdeveloped boy who never wants to grow up, has become the prototype for all those men and boys who prefer to remain in an infantile state rather than accepting the responsibilities of adulthood. Barrie's story, like all great classics, embodies darkness and light, good and evil. However, in 1953, the Disney movie based on this book emerged, trivializing and romanticizing the story. Since it is the Disney truncated version that most people know, I recommend that people read the story in Barrie's skilled prose in order to capture all of the innuendos and greatness of the language that he uses. However, as a woman reading the story with today's social awareness, I can't help but bristle at the sex-role stereotypes, especially regarding Wendy. She is the embodiment of all that is stereotypically feminine—the mother who tucks the children in bed, the frail woman who must be respected, the mother of daughters who will serve as cleaning women for Peter generation after generation. I would recommend this book for children who are mature enough to enjoy the greatness of the writing and who can also deal with its anachronisms. 2003 (orig. 1911), HarperCollins, Ages 9 to 12.
— Kathy Egner, Ph.D.