Kathy Davie's Reviews > The Bridge to Never Land

The Bridge to Never Land by Dave Barry
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's review
Dec 09, 11

bookshelves: children, fantasy
Read in November, 2011

Fifth in the Peter and the Starcatchers fantasy adventure series for kids. This installment takes us beyond what we expect of Peter Pan in a contemporary America.


My Take
Okay, it is a fun adventure but there was something missing in it for me. I suspect part of my disappointment was in the story's contemporary setting when I was expecting something with more "history".

It's still a clever manipulation of the Peter Pan fantasy that weaves in our own Disney World with the even more clever inclusion of Albert Einstein. With luck, it'll inspire kids to explore or at least be more open to Einstein and quantum mechanics.


The Story
In 1905, the Starcatchers approached Albert Einstein for help in protecting Never Land. A protection that was modified in 1971 by Pete Carmoody.

Today...
While chasing Aidan down to get her iPhone back, Sarah and Aidan inadvertently discover a secret hideaway in their dad's new-to-him antique desk. A letter from Aster to Mister Magill. It's Sarah's encyclopedic knowledge of the Starcatcher books that enables her to recognize the name Magill. And it is the impetus that sends Sarah and Aidan on their quest to solve the clue in the letter and discover the stored cache of starstuff.

Lucky for them, their parents have planned a family trip to England making their quest possible. Unlucky for them, as finding the starstuff triggers a chase by the weakened Lord Ombra and his allies, the ravens. A most formidable enemy as he directs his ravens to follow them across the Atlantic and cross country in the U.S. as Sarah and Aidan flee their parents and Ombra trying to find a starcatcher who can help them. An unexpected use for Facebook and Craigslist, but it does result in an email from a J. D. Aster.

But when Sarah and Aidan reach Dr. Aster, they find that he is quite resistant to the myth and by the time they convince him, the police are coming to arrest them all. Their escape is bare and they only manage to elude the electronics that stretch along the East Coast by the skin of their teeth. Together they decide the only safe place for the starstuff is in Never Land and J.D.'s grandfather's diary provides the clues they follow with some help from Mac and Carmoody's widow, Fay.

A trail they follow to Disney World in Florida. With still more clues to decipher and adventures to follow. To convince Peter. To rescue Aidan from Ombra's clutches.


The Characters
Aidan Cooper enjoys the usual relationship most siblings have with older sisters. Sarah, the older sister, practically has the Peter and the Starcatcher series memorized. Tom and Natalie Cooper are their history-minded parents.

Lord Ombra is still weak from the battle in Peter and the Secret of Rundoon but clever enough to survive in pieces. Lester Armstrong is a private investigator with a talent for computer research and he is soon hot on the trail of the runaways. Armstrong is not the most ethical of men. Hector Gomez and Wanda Blight are the FBI agents in charge of retrieving the "kidnapped" children.

J. D. Aster is a physics professor at Princeton University and a non-believing descendant of the original Lord Aster. Allen "Mac" Macpherson, a friend of Aster's, turns out to have been involved much later with the bridge project and provides an uncertain refuge. He does remember that Pete Carmoody was involved in a project to make a smaller, more portable bridge that eventually ended up in the most wonderful place on Earth.

The inhabitants of Never Land from Captain Hook, Smee, and his crew; Teacher; the chief of the Mollusk Indians, Fighting Prawn and his son Bold Abalone with the rest of the village; a very suspicious Peter Pan and Tinker Bell; the Lost Boys: Tootles, Nibs, Curly, Slightly, and the twins; and, Mister Grin.


The Cover
The cover is a murder of ravens chasing, surrounding Sarah and Aidan as they flee across a bridge at Disney World.

The title is too true as quantum physics has allowed a safe dimension for the island as well as The Bridge to Never Land.
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