Peter and the Starcatchers

by Dave Barry

Other authorsGreg Call (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2006

Call number




Disney-Hyperion (2006), Edition: Reprint, 480 pages


Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.

Media reviews

Pearson and Barry offer a deft combination of laughter and fear -- that is, fear undergirded by a sense of final safety. It's a roller coaster of a plot in more senses than one, and considering their publisher -- Disney, with its Tinkerbell logo well displayed here -- I don't suppose that's a
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User reviews

LibraryThing member eduscapes
What fun! I've never thought of myself as a Peter Pan or a pirate fan, but this book made me both. I particularly liked the way this prequel casually addressed questions like how did Peter Pan learn to fly and what's the origin of Tinker Bell? This book can easily stand alone, but I look forward to
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reading the others in this engaging new series.
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for quite awhile. I didn't have high hopes, but this prequel to Peter Pan was actually very cute and a fast and fun read. Basically, through the story the book explains things such as Peter's inability to grow up, the magic behind his ability to fly, how he
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got to Neverland, he first meeting with Captain Hook, etc. There is a sequel to this book that is another prequel to Peter Pan and I'm interested in reading it.
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LibraryThing member fullerl
Peter and the Starcatchers takes a fresh look at the classic story of Peter Pan. Peter, along with a group of orphans, are loaded onto a pathetic old boat called the Never Land, crewed by and even more pathetic group of sailors...all except a rough talking sailor named Slank. Also on this boat is a
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pretty young lady named Molly, accompanied by her governess. It turns out another ship is to sail with the Never Land; the Wasp, a new ship built to outrun the ship of the notorious pirate Black Stasch. Molly's father is on the Wasp. But the Never Land has some special cargo; a trunk that causes unusual but pleasant things to happen to those who touch it. Deprived of decent food while on the boat, Peter is forced to forage the ship for something to eat. While hunting for food, Peter stumbles upon the trunk and...a flying rat! Almost discovered by a crew member, Peter suddenly finds himself with Molly, who through the course of several conversations explains that the trunk contains a substance called starsuff that is the culprit for most of the wars and other troubles in the world. Molly explains that she is part of an order call 'Starcatchers' who help to round up the star stuff as it falls to Earth and keep it out of the hands of the 'Others', those who would abuse the power that come with starstuff. Peter is amazed to see that with the aid of the starstuff, Molly can fly!

The conflict of the story centers around Molly and Peter (with the help of a friendly porpoise with whom Molly converses) working to keep the starstuff out of the hands of the dreaded Captain Black Stasch and his men, as well as the greedy clutches of Slank, who is part of the 'others'. All end up on a beautiful jungle island after a brutal storm, where they clash with the local natives who want to feed them to Mister Grin, a gigantic crocodile. In the end, as we would expect, Peter save the day with the help of some new friends, the mermaids.

When all is resolved it becomes clear how the tale of Peter Pan came to be and all relationships and conflicts for future encounters between characters such as Peter and Captain 'Hook' are firmly established. All in all, Peter and Starcatches is a terrific story full of vivid descriptions, exciting twists in action, and ideas that will tug at your heart and get you thinking.
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LibraryThing member jennyo
Peter and the Starcatchers is a prequel to Peter Pan. I wish I could say I loved it, but I didn't. I'll give Barry and Pearson high marks for plot, for inventiveness, and for pacing, but not for dialog or characterization. The idea of the "starstuff", a magical substance that falls from the skies
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and has unusual and often unpredictable powers, was a great one. And I felt like most of the things I remember from the original Peter Pan were satisfactorily explained by the events in this book. But, Peter didn't feel like Peter. He talked like a modern day 10 year old. Even the piratey dialog was bad (which surprised me since Barry is such a supporter of Talk Like a Pirate Day).

I think my kids will think the book is fun. And it is, really. It just didn't live up to my expectations.
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LibraryThing member bfet
Well, neither Dave Barry nor Ridley Pearson has ever been known to write children’s book, but teaming up together certainly turned out for the best. It has only been a little more than a hundred years, but now a fun and thrilling prequel to Peter Pan has flown into bookstores all over the world.
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With a hint of Barry’s comedy, Peter’s flight from orphan boy to soaring hero is revealed in Peter and the Starcatchers. The mystery to how the flying boy and the lost boys came to be on Never Land is finally unraveled. After all, tinker bell didn’t just sprinkle a little fairy dust over an island.
The adventure begins as Peter and the other orphan boys are forced onto a rundown ship named The Never Land. A mysterious trunk is onboard; the ship commander, Slank, is a cruel man; There is a young, rich girl named Molly on board, who at first glance seems innocent and harmless, but really is much more than that; And, a pirate ship under the command of Captain Black Stache is on The Never Land’s tail; But that is the least of the problems, for, as the mystery of the magical substance called starstuff is revealed, it is learned that there is much more at stake.
Barry and Pearson’s story was ingenious and clever. However, I believe this great novel did not reach its highest potential, for it lacked in its characterization as well as in its language. But, Peter’s adventure over the sea is still an adventure that will promise a delightful escape into fantasy for any reader.
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LibraryThing member punkypower
Peter Pan + Lord of the Rings + Titanic

Peter and the other orphans he has grown up with are being sent away from the orphanage/school they have grown up in. They have been sold into servitude, but must travel by ship to get there. Along the way, Peter meets a friend, Molly, and is also allowed by a
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strange box. As always, there be pirates along the seas...

This is one of my favorite series of all times! I’m sorry that I let the insane work hours take priority over keeping track of the series. This is one of my rereads that has me more excited for my reread than new books this year. Also, between a combination of time and memory loss after a medical procedure, it’s like I’m reading it for the first time again.

Ridley Pearson’s daughter asked her Daddy how after and a pirate met, and this is the result. It is one of those stories that may be classified as middle grade, but easily appeals to young adults and adults alike. The world-building is marvelous, with the bulk being new masterful storytelling with touches of classic J.M. Barrie to summon loving nostalgia. Characters, new and old, are well fleshed-out and brought out string emotions from this reader. Greg Call’s illustrations are jaw-dropping (THAT COVER!!)!

Buy this for yourself or anyone who loves retellings. If you’re twisted, get it for someone who gets seasick.
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LibraryThing member quiltingflamingo
Excellent story for all ages.
LibraryThing member slpenney07
Summary: Peter's notorious reputation begins on a voyage to a kingdom he's never heard of and he won't make it to.

The Take Away: Peter begins the story as an orphan, albeit a rather normal existence for one in the 1800s in London.
It's really Molly, the daughter of a star catcher, combined with
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Peter's own curiosity that transforms him into the mischievous flying boy we know today.
Peter isn't the only orphan on the ship; several of his mates are too. When Peter ventures out of their cabin in search of food that doesn't wiggle, his inclination for trouble shows up. Molly is part of a dangerous plat, but on the good guys' side.
It was a wonderful to see how much care the authors took with the legendary boy. The background/backstory they created is so seamless it could have been written by Barre himself.
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LibraryThing member sara_k
Peter and the Starcatchers is a prequel to Peter Pan. Since J. M. Barrie is long dead, the prequel is written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

In answer to the question of how Peter met Hook, these authors have come up with an ingenious story that would never have occurred to J.M. Barrie. There
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are lots of swashbuckling pirates and tense situations. Hook, then known as "Black Stache" is already a notorious pirate and Peter is a boy of indeterminate age (somewhere between 10-13). The story starts on the docks as Peter and some other orphan boys are loaded onto a disreputable ship and ends on the newly named "Never Land" island. Along the way some of our favorite characters meet and mingle with characters developed just for this book.

I may be remembering the Disney movie and not the original book (it has been a while since I read it) but I thought Peter was lost when he was a baby and he remembered that being lost in a shadowy way. Certainly he would remember if he had been 10-12 when the big change happened. Right? Peter seemed an awful lot more mature than in Peter Pan which was disconcerting. Though a boy may (by magic) not grow up, it bothered me that he seemed to regress. I suppose it is a hazard of writing to make characters more what we would be if we were in the story.

Several times I wished the story would move a little faster. If it had, they probably could have cut 120 pages off the length without hurting the story flow or leaving out fun and story building information.

I liked the book. It was very entertaining! I read it in about a day and have set it aside for several children ages 8-14. I bought it for less than $11 at Costco, so if you are not going to buy it from an Independent Bookstore I recommend Costco.
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LibraryThing member eagle5
Oh no Hook is back! Peter and the Starcatchers is book of adventure. Have you ever read the book Peter Pan? Well, if you like Peter Pan, you would like this book. This book tells how Peter learned to fly and how Tinkerbell, Hook, Neverland, fairy dust, and mermaids came to be.
I loved this book
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because it has action and a lot of adventure. I would rate this book 10 out of 10, because when you start reading it you will not take your eyes off of it.
I would say the author’s style would be that he puts a lot of details in his story. I have read other Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry books, but I would have to say this is the best one yet! If you like fantasy and adventure, Peter and the Starcatchers is the best book for you.
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LibraryThing member jcsoblonde
I can't say enough words of praise about this book! It'' SO good!
LibraryThing member MrBobble
I precursor to Peter Pan. The story was interesting and fun. it was a very enjoyable book to listen to on tape.
LibraryThing member pwstrain
Love this book. Can't wait to hand it to my kid when I'm done.
LibraryThing member Sink222
NOT a Peter Pan fan, but really liked the story! I really enjoyed reading this - great for adults too!
LibraryThing member slightlyfan
I'm a huge Peter Pan fan so I had to give this a try. This book is very much another person's interpretation of how Peter Pan and Neverland came to being.

It was good. It kept me interested but it did get a little long during the middle. But the story was memorable and they could have done a lot
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LibraryThing member hoosgracie
Excellent prequel to Peter Pan. Barry and Pearson “explain�€? how Peter the orphan came to be Peter Pan, where the lost boys come from, who Captain Hook is, and where Neverland is. Simply magical. I listed to the unabridged book on tape read by Jim Dale. Highly recommend.
LibraryThing member buckeyeaholic
This is the prequel to Peter Pan. How Peter came to be on the Island, Hook lost his hand & how Tinkerbell came to be. Wonderfully written & it inspired me to listen to Peter Pan.
LibraryThing member Unreachableshelf
The only reason I keep this book is that it is autographed. Barry and Pearson's Peter Pan books would probably be entertaining to somebody whose only familiarity with the source material was the movies. However, the unanswered questions which they set out to answer are all too often answered in the
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original book: where do fairies come from, how did Peter wind up in Neverland, et cetera. Captain Hook is unrecognizable. The astonishing part is that when the authors were promoting the second book in the series, Pearson explained that he got the idea while reading Peter Pan to his daughter. I could understand this book from authors who had not read the original, but for somebody familiar with canon to so blatantly ignore it is something that I can't accept in my reading.
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LibraryThing member velvetsnape
Love how canon it is to the original story. Great authors and great story line : )
LibraryThing member hcaputi
This book is an interesting creation of the origin of Peter Pan and how he became enemies with the well known Captain Hook. This adventure is a whimsical tale that carries the reader on the sea to a strang eisland where even stranger things begin to happen. For anyone who grew up with Peter Pan,
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this book is a must read.
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LibraryThing member ConradStongue
I liked this book okay, it had a couple parts with too much dialogue which was boring.
LibraryThing member dfullmer
A very fun audiobook - I highly recommend listening to this one. I really enjoyed the story and it was a wonderful and fun adventure that was grown up enough for a grown up to enjoy.
LibraryThing member BrennaB8
Peter and the Starcatchers tells you about the beginning of the well-known story, Peter Pan, so it is a prequal to the story. It's brilliant and well written. My friend said it was really good and it took me a while before I chose it. But I'm glad I did. It was really hard to put down. It never
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gets boring and it's now my favorite book!! Peter and the Starcatchers was a great book and if you like Fantasy, this is the book to read.
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LibraryThing member Shadowz112
Peter and the Starcatcher's is kind of like a prequel to the story of Peter Pan. Peter and his friend's are taken from their orphange and are told that they are going to be shipped to become the servants of King Zarboff. They board their ugly old ship called the Neverland and find a girl named
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Molly and a chest filled with a glowing substance called starstuff. Starstuff is a very volatile substance that mutates anything it touches. It allows powers like flight, healing, and evolves animals. The ship becomes immersed in a battle with pirates lead by the Black Stache and crashes on a nearby island. The story is filled with loads of action and adventure and is an intersting read for people of all ages.
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LibraryThing member Vampirate_queen
A great idea for a book, and the author pulled it off! It was a quick read for me, but a pretty good book anyway.


Audie Award (Finalist — 2005)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — Children's — 2007)
Great Stone Face Book Award (Nominee — 2006)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2007)
William Allen White Children's Book Award (Nominee — Grades 6-8 — 2006-2007)
Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (Winner — Grades 6-8 — 2007)
Nēnē Award (Nominee — 2006, 2007, 2008)
Indies Choice Book Award (Honor Book — Children's Literature — 2005)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Nominee — Intermediate — 2006)
Colorado Blue Spruce Award (Nominee — 2008)
Southern Book Prize (Winner — Children's — 2005)
Read Aloud Indiana Book Award (Middle School — 2006)




078684907X / 9780786849079
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