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Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series #1)
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Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series #1)

4.7 445
by Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Greg Call (Illustrator)

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Don'teven think of starting this bookunless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. Afast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peterand his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. Theyset sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk


Don'teven think of starting this bookunless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. Afast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peterand his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. Theyset sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk inits cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement anddanger.

Discoverrichly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary butfamiliar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles withpirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses thereader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries ofthe beloved Peter Pan.

Editorial Reviews

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
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)

Product Details

Disney Press
Publication date:
Starcatchers Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.52(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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.

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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Peter and the Starcatchers (Starcatchers Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 445 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

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!
lspell960 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Booklover010 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A definate page turner I did not want to put the book down. There is a suprise on every page!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down
SteveTheDM More than 1 year ago
So I was in the mood for something light and just a bit brainless, and dove into my daughter&rsquo;s shelves for the first book in Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson&rsquo;s Peter Pan prequels, called &ldquo;Peter and the Starcatchers.&rdquo; 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&rsquo;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&rsquo;s absolutely suitable for kids (for whom it was written) as well as adults craving light, fun adventure. 4 of 5 stars.
Reads_a_lot More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter and The Starcatchers begins with Peter, an orphan raised at St. Norberts Home for Wayward Boys. Peter is an adventurous but nosy teen.  A leader at heart, Peter is the head of all the boys at St. Norberts. Peter and the other orphans are shipped off on a boat called the Neverland for five weeks with very little to eat. Peter meets Molly, the headmasters daughter, a starcatcher after the treasure. My favorite part in the book is when Slank and Little Richard try and talk to the &quot;she-fish&quot; but they swim away. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more mature retellings of fables. Finally, Peter and The Starcatchers is a perfect retelling of Peter Pan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is all i can say. Wow. Wow...wow....wow......wow!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great and entertaining read for those of all ages. WONDERFUL.
therebeccahare More than 1 year ago
This is a fun story for the kids but I do have to edit it a bit as it has some questionable pirate talk. I usually just skip over words like idiot, stupid, damn and hell. It is really engaging and the kids beg for more chapters! Not sure why authors put language in children's books?!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent adventure story for all ages. This is a wonderful series. Dave and Ridley have created wonderful characters. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is all about the story of how peter pan got his powers and where captain hook came from. Will not ever want to put this book down. Any lover of a ficion book with action, excitment, and funny punns, look no farther
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter and The Starcatchers What an adventurous page turner! I chose this book because a friend told me it was good, but I didn’t think it would be that good. If you like adventure, then I recommend this book. 14 year old Peter is an orphan that is on his way to serve an evil king Zarboff, the third. The story takes place mostly on a ship named The Never Land, and on an island. This book explains how Peter Pan became, Peter Pan, and everything else like, how he got a fairy. Why he flies, and why he will never grow up. Also it tells how the Neverland boys are kinda like his family, and how the indians became his friends. In my opinion this book had well built characters, and a good plot. Almost every page leaves a cliffhanger, making you want to keep reading. This book is probably one of the best I’ve read. I’ve already started the next book in the series. You absolutely have to read this book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. The story is different and unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOMELY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read this book when i was in middle scholol and its still just as captivating