A contemporary sequel to J. M. Barrie's timeless classic Peter Pan, perfect for kids who loved THE LAND OF STORIES and dream of going to Neverland.
Clover and Fergus are the great-great-grandchildren of Wendy Darling (yes, that Wendy). And now Peter Pan wants to take them to Neverland for the adventure of their lives! But Clover is a little nervous--she's supposed to look after her brother. Fergus is autistic, and not everyone makes him feel welcome. What will happen to him in this magical world?
Fergus isn't nervous at all. To him, Neverland seems like a dream come true! He's tired of Clover's constant mothering and wants some independence, like Peter and the Lost Boys have. He wonders, Why can't the real world be more like Neverland?
Neverland is fun and free, but it's also dangerous and even scary at times. Unfamiliar creatures lurk in the shadows, and strange sounds come from the waters. And then the mermaids start to go missing. . . .
In an imaginative and thoughtful continuation of the story of Peter Pan, Susan Adrian explores Neverland with a fresh perspective and indelible warmth, offering a new adventure based on a beloved classic!
|Publisher:||Random House Children's Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I recognize Grandmother and Grandfather from the pictures Mom has on her nightstand, even before Great-Aunt Tilly points them out. They’re standing by a sign that says north meeting point, looking the other way. The airport bustle flows around them like a river around two serene boulders.
My heart tries to fly out of my chest. I stop walking without even meaning to, and Fergus stops with me. Great-Aunt Tilly doesn’t notice, rushing forward to give Grandmother a hug.
“It’s okay,” I say to Fergus. “It’s going to be okay. We’ll get along fine. It’s only three weeks.”
It’s an echo of what Great-Aunt Tilly has been telling us the whole flight, what Mom told us since they planned all this: a three-week trip to London to visit grandparents we’ve never met, so Mom can take the bar exam and finally become a lawyer. She’s been working for this for a long time, and she just needs a final push. That’s what she said. One final push by herself to study and take the test, and a great chance for us to get to know our grandparents. They offered. They paid. It’s high time, Mom said.
What if they hate us?
Humming over all the noise, Fergus stares at the gray-and-pink carpet. “It’ll be okay,” I whisper. I stare hard at Grandmother and Grandfather, trying to see what they’re like.
Grandfather is impressively tall and skinny, and stern-looking. He reminds me of a magician, like he should be swirling a cloak around his shoulders. He has a burst of wild white hair and a long nose, with strong lines around his mouth. Suddenly he returns my look, and I flinch. He has the kind of sharp, steel gaze that makes me want to lift my chin and stand taller. Or run away.
We can’t run away. Not now. It’s too late for that.
Grandmother is swallowed up in Great-Aunt Tilly’s hug, but I can see her face. She’s smaller, softer, and she looks like Mom. Same eyes, that bright blue that neither of us kids got. Her hair is twisted into a low black-and-gray bun.
They’re dressed way fancier than most people in San Diego. Grandmother is wearing a long cream-colored skirt with a shiny green shirt and holds a matching green purse. Grandfather has on dressy pants and a button-down shirt.
It makes me feel awkward in the Walmart leggings I just got, and I realize again how ratty Fergus’s gray Tardis T-shirt is. It’s his favorite, even though it’s baggy and has holes in it, and there was no way he was wearing anything else.
Great-Aunt Tilly smiles and gestures us over, so I smile nervously and step forward.
“Hello. It’s nice to see you,” I say, a little stiffly. I planned it on the plane. Nice to meet you might sound like I’m mad we never met them before. Anything else would sound fake. I want to start on the right note.
Grandmother wraps me up in a hug. She smells like perfume, sweet and flowery. It’s nice, and I relax into it. Fergus comes over too, but he still keeps his gaze focused on the carpet as he taps his fingers against his leg. He doesn’t say anything.
“Good to see you children,” Grandfather booms in his English accent. “Better late than never, eh?” He ruffles Fergus’s hair.
Fergus squints and steps back. “Don’t touch my head, please,” he says, low. Grandfather takes a breath, looks at me, and nods. That’s all. No hug or any welcome. Just a nod. I bristle a little.
Fergus is eleven months younger than me--we’re practically twins--and autistic. A lot of people don’t get that, get him. He thinks differently from neurotypical people, and acts differently sometimes. But he’s really just Fergus. I wish other people would understand that. I wish they wouldn’t stare, or make comments, or treat him like he’s not smart. He’s just as smart as everyone else. Probably smarter, in most cases. Only different.
I promised Mom I’d protect him while we’re here. He doesn’t have to have his hair ruffled if he doesn’t want to. I frown at Grandfather.
Grandmother tucks her arm in mine and pats my hand. “We are so very thrilled to have you, Clover. Both of you.” She smiles at Fergus, and her cheeks wrinkle softly. Her voice is warm, her accent making all the words round. “This is a very special treat for us, long overdue. We are going to have a lovely time together. Now let’s get you both home. You must be hungry, and so tired.”
My stomach growls as if it’s replying to her, and she laughs. “We’ll get on, then. Tilly, will you come with us for a cup of tea before the trip home?”
Great-Aunt Tilly shakes her head, her white curls bouncing. “My train is in an hour. I’d dearly love to get home and see the cats. I’ll leave you to get to know each other.” She pats my shoulder--and suddenly I don’t want her to leave at all. She’s the only person we know in this whole country. She’s visited us in San Diego lots of times. She knows us.
The panic must show in my face, because she leans over and kisses my forehead. “I’ll visit when your mum comes to pick you up. Enjoy your trip. You’ll never have a better time. Trust me.” She and Grandmother smile at each other.
“Thank you for everything,” I say.
Great-Aunt Tilly grins. “You did well, both of you, coming all the way here.” She hesitates, then nods once. “Happy thoughts.” She picks up her bag and heads off. Just like that, she’s gone, vanished in the crowd.
“Let’s go home,” Grandmother says, tugging on my arm.
I turn back to check on Fergus. “Fergus? Are you ready?”
He doesn’t answer, his eyes still fixed on the floor. He’s breathing a little fast. It’s been a long, long trip for him, with all the changes and all the people. He doesn’t like change. We did the best we could to prepare, but it’s still strange and new.
“Fergus?” I say again. “Are you okay?”
He doesn’t answer. He frowns and taps faster.
“Fergus?” I repeat.
“He’s fine,” Grandfather snaps. “Don’t smother the boy. He’ll come along when we go. We won’t leave him.”
My cheeks go hot like I’ve been slapped. I wasn’t smothering. That’s my job. I try to catch Fergus’s eye, to make sure he’s all right, but he’s still staring at his feet. Grandfather jerks his chin forward, and I follow the tug of Grandmother’s arm into the middle of the busy, bright, loud airport, Fergus trailing behind us. I keep looking back to make sure he’s there, that he’s really okay.
I’m not sure this is going to work out after all.