Book Talk: Peter and the Starcatchers Series

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Good

peter and the starcatchers barry pearsonpeter and the shadow thieves barry pearsonpeter and the secret of rundoon barry pearson

Since we had the giveaway yesterday, I thought I would bump Book Talk to today.  I didn’t want to miss this week because I am almost finished with the very fun Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

I remember reading Dave Barry’s humor column in the Sunday paper while I was growing up, and I thought he was hilarious.  I was surprised to learn that he co-authored a series of book about the before story of Peter Pan.  If you’ve read Dave Barry before, you know that his work is not always kid-appropriate, but fortunately this series is.

The Peter and the Starcatchers series is all about how Peter Pan came to fly, ended up on Never Land, got mixed up with Captain Hook, and met Wendy Darling.  I have really enjoyed reading this history of Peter and the Lost Boys, and I find the Disney movie much more enjoyable knowing how everything came to be!

This series is definitely one to read aloud to your children, even as young as 5 or 6.  The story is simple but entertaining (how could it not be with those authors?) and very appropriate for your children.  My husband and I have both enjoyed getting to know Peter, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, Smee, and many others.  Let me know what you think!


1 Maria September 16, 2008 at 1:49 am

My mom introduced me to this set of books just last year & I too was HOOKED! Pardon the pun, hahaha. I have yet to read them to my children, but I really need to! It would quite an adventure!!!

2 AmyDe September 16, 2008 at 5:31 am

Thanks for the referral – I can’t wait to put these book on our Library list.

3 Heather G September 16, 2008 at 5:55 am

I read the first one when it first came out. It was such a good read! I remember thinking “I hope there are more!” Then I forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder. I think my 4 year old Peter Pan loving boy might enjoy this as a special Mommy & Me read aloud.

4 Nicki Lundeen September 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

I haven’t read these books, but I appreciate your recommendation. I will have to consider these for my daughter to read. Thanks

5 Sandy September 16, 2008 at 9:54 am

Thanks for the recommendation! I Am always looking for good books to read with my kids.

6 Jen T September 16, 2008 at 10:22 am

I have read all these and love them, as has my 10 year old and 8 year old. We have gotten the books on tape–read by Jim Dale who is awesome– for trips and my husband and 6 year old have really enjoyed them. Great, great books! I would be interested to know if you thought that last one will really be the last one??? I would love another one, but I thought it pretty much wrapped itself up, what do you think?

7 Baba - Deborah Sloan September 16, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Wow! We will have to add this series for our reading list. They sound just like what we would love to read. Family fun time.

8 emilyt September 16, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Interesting picks – we all love the story so these could be great. I also love the movie Neverland with Johnny Depp & Kate Winslet.

9 Amy Rhoads September 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

This reminds me of what Wicked was all about. In seeing Wicked and then watching Wizard of Oz you really do enjoy it more and you feel like you understand the characters better. I love Peter Pan and it looks like I would enjoy this. Thanks.

10 Michelle Baucum September 16, 2008 at 3:27 pm

When I first saw the book covers, I thought it was Harry Potter. Then, I read your review and I just want to say that I LOVE PETER PAN! I would definitely check this book out based on your review. Thanks!

11 Lorie September 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm

I have never heard of this series, but I am always looking for books to read with my son. Thank you for the review!

12 The Never Fairy September 16, 2008 at 11:17 pm

As entertaining as they may be, they have MANY contradictions to J.M. Barrie’s original stories . Peter Pan had a backstory and this is not it. It’s more of a prequel to the Disney movie, as the publisher Hyperion is owned by Disney. In fact, all the prequels and sequels do have errors..
Except one.
A new book is out, which not only remains faithful to Barrie, but is based on his idea for more Peter Pan adventure!
Check it out:

13 Sharla September 17, 2008 at 10:46 am

I love reading and I’m trying to instill that love in my boys. These sound like they would help do the job!

14 Mandee Dover September 17, 2008 at 4:09 pm

My son Logan loves these books. He talks to everyone he knows about them and has even leant my friend Brandy the first book and keeps on her about reading it. I love any book that catches my childrens attention. Great choice of a book review.

15 Regina Jones September 19, 2008 at 9:39 am

These are great books they are a great read! I recommend them to everyone!

16 Tina September 19, 2008 at 9:52 pm

i have a very different idea of “appropriate” than some people, so i have to ask…are these books anything like the original peter pan in “child appropriateness”? because i had to return peter pan, the original, to the library due to it being very violent and i quickly deemed it inappropriate for my child at this point in her life (age 7). i was incredibly shocked by the casual violence in it…peter cutting of hook’s hand beforehand aside, there were casual mentions of pirates regularly killing off lost boys and lost boys regularly killing off pirates and all kinds of murders and mayhem that just was shocking to me to be in a “children’s” book.

so, with that in mind, i just am wondering about the content of these books as far as violence? is there any mention of killing?

17 Kelsey September 19, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Ooh, I’ll have to look up Jim Dale. The reader in audiobooks makes a huge difference. The guy who does the Harry Potter audiobooks is also really good. Thanks!

18 Kelsey September 19, 2008 at 9:56 pm

I’m sure your boys would enjoy these books, and you’re right – reading has to be enjoyable for kids to like it. Reading is leisure, not punishment! Reading things your boys like will definitely get them reading on their own. Way to go!

19 Kelsey September 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm

There is some very vague violence. The pirates are rather blood thirsty and want revenge on everyone. They don’t actually describe anyone being killed unless they’re being thrown overboard. If you’re very sensitive to violence (which is a good thing), you might not want to read these. They are pirates, after all.

It is so important to decide what is appropriate in your family and stick to it, so well done. Thanks!

20 Sandy September 22, 2008 at 8:53 pm

By the way I thought I would let you know that I went out and bought this book after your reccomendation and I am on chapter 6 with my two daughters. Thanks for the ideas. It is great to be able to read with them.

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