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3.07  ·  Rating details ·  540 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Wendy's imagination never runs away from her -- it flies.

Wendy Darling is not the perfect girl her parents would like her to be. Intrepid, outspoken, and willful, she's always getting into trouble. One evening, confined to the nursery by her horrible nanny, she sneaks out to spy on one of her parents' glamorous parties.

Their world is lavish, rich with excess -- and off l
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published October 6th 2003)
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Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  540 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Jan 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book was like poison. Half-way through I had to put it down and give up on its ever getting better. This book for me totally ruins the magical world of Peter Pan.

It is suppose to be Wendy's Pre-Peter Pan world. It doesn't paint a very pretty one. This novel seems bent on portraying every worse case scenario that could happen to children in Victorian England. It is filled with petty, shallow, and immoral characters. Wendy is continually hurt and betrayed by the adults in her life. From this
R. C.
May 05, 2009 rated it did not like it
I was pre-reading this to see if it was appropriate for my eight-year-old, who wants to read every Peter Pan related book written in English.

It was entirely realistic with not a touch of fantasy. After spending so many pages observing this perceptive little girl's agony, caused by her precocious ability to empathize with adult problems like adultery and financial ruin, the author provides us only an overly simplistic resolution that no one older than fourteen could believe really helps anything
Using Wendy Darling from "Peter Pan" as her focal point, Wallace re-creates the upstairs-downstairs world of Edwardian society that was both hypocritical and destructive to its children. Nine-year-old Wendy is aware of how little sway she has in her home. The nanny can hit her and her brothers and routinely fill them with castor oil, and her oblivious mother doesn't notice.

To gain power, Wendy becomes a spy and in so doing learns something she doesn't want to know--her father is having an affai
Kathryn Parry
Mar 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a depressing little read. No connection to Peter Pan apart from the names and a sure way of spoiling the magic of Peter Pan.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 11th-advisory
By Karen Wallace
307 pages
Simon Pulse
ISBN 1-4169-0314-3

Wendy Darling is a simple girl who doesn't ask for much, just that she wants some love and care from her family. She wants to get away from the supervision of the unreasonable nanny who's been working for the Darling's family since Wendy and her two younger brothers, John and Michael, were born. Every day, the three kids would be supervised by their nanny and they aren't allowed to do anything besides doing what they're told to do by the
Abby M. Ganhar

I was really excited to read this one, and in the end I just found it plain disappointing.

First, it's marketed as a prequel; it's not, really. More of an alternative, "If Wendy made up the whole thing, including Peter, in her head, and based it on somebody else, what would have led her to do this?" sorta thing.

(Or maybe it's actually not; that was a huge part of my problem with this book. It felt like it was trying to have it both ways. The slow brother was the inspiration for Peter Pan, b

I was curious to see the author's take on Wendy's life before Peter Pan. I didn't like it. I was interested at first, but the further on the book went, the more dissatisfied I became. By the end, I didn't appreciate the way the story had gone and I decided that I'm fine with the Peter Pan story I knew before. This didn't make it any more magical or meaningful. It just complicated things a bit more, and actually made some of the characters quite unlikable. I hated how Mr. Darling was a cheating,

Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those interested in Peter Pan and his fantasy world this is not the book. I first read this book when I was six (before knowing who or what Peter Pan was) and I absolutely loved this book. I loved the characters and how they developed. There are a lot of reviews here looking down on the book because they were expecting it to be magical, as it is quite misleading. But this book takes the story of Peter Pan and paints it in a realistic way from the pov of Wendy an insightful girl full of quest ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The pre-Peter Pan story, really has nothing to do with the magical Neverland at all. Honestly, the characters didn't have much of a resemblance to what would be later to come.

Wendy Darling and her brothers are not having a fantastic time. They have a horrible Nanny who is abusive, their parents do not get along, and their "friends" treat them like crap. The end wraps up neatly with resolutions that are unrealistic.

For a book that was clearly written for a much younger audience (large font and do

Jul 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ok this might be the worst book I've ever read. And I've read A LOT of books. I mean it was confusing and things were so sudden. One minute the family is separate and rich. A few chapters later the father crashes his car, loses his job, drinks himself into a drunken stupor ever night, is found in an affair, and goes broke. Then in the end all the sudden the father sells off his car, loves the mother again, Wendy is super happy, Letitia moves away, and the father finds a job again? And this all h ...more
Abigail Carter
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) One of my childhood favourites!
Megan A
Jan 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, did-t-like
I don't really know what to think about this book it was really weird........
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, read-in-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
[Written: 4-14-2004, Edited: 8-7-2017] This was a great story centering on the witty female character of the original Peter Pan, Wendy Darling. Despite the barely there, but-present sexual content -- which there was very little, thank goodness -- the story was compelling.

Wendy Darling's hardships centered around her misunderstanding and misinterpretations of her father's affairs is intriguing, and makes Wendy's character hard not to like. Wendy is struggling to grasp a situation she has lived ou
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was actually quite poignant for me. I will admit,I was mislead by the title thinking Peter Pan would be in the story,warning though:he's not.
Despite all of that I kept reading and I quite enjoyed it. It gave me some insight into the characters I had come to love in Peter Pan. This book was about her and the many trails she went through made me feel various emotions along with her. Though the ending was on a hopeful note,I still felt quite..hollow after reading it. It was a good book al
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
One of the themes or topics that I can't read is betrayal and I didn't expect it to come when I read the back cover. I had to calm myself down again and again to read past that. Overall the writing style is quite easy to read and I like how it is in children's perspective and you can read how confused they are. The ending felt quite rushed and although it's a happy ending I still have some questions in mind so I can't be fully satisfied with it.
Ruth Turner
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in the 20th century this book is not so much a retelling as a reimaging of the beloved classic Peter Pan telling the story of Wendy Darling and her family who are being ripped apart by secrets, lies, betrayals and narcissism. As Wendy's life unravels she copes the best she can. This book will grip you right from the first page and keep you hooked until the last...and will leave you wondering about the boy who never grew up.
Lizzie DeShaw
May 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
It took me maybe 3 times to get through this book, but I finally did it.
This story is about Wendy Darling, before Peter Pan and Never Never Land.
Wendy is a young tween who is becoming aware of the socioeconomic position her family is in. This story deals with growth, first love, and the loss of innocence.
The ending alludes to her meeting Peter.

If you are expecting magic and childhood innocence, this is not it. Still a good book.
Miriam Rose
Aug 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
The only "fairytale/Peter Pan" aspect of this book was that all of the characters' flaws and problems magically disappeared at the end. It also showed kids that if you never speak up or talk through your sadness or depression, you'll just end up happy in the end. Yeah, right.
Hmmm... This book kinda took away what made Peter Pan great. Replaced magic with drama and adult problems. :'P
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very dark story. No resemblence whatsoever with Peter Pan. Easy read because of the lay-out and space between the sentences.
A book with a nasty after taste
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story!!
Jun 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Louise / Daisy May Johnson
I had time for Karen Wallace's stiffly written, dark, and yet strangely intriguing Climbing A Monkey Puzzle Tree, and so I came to Wendy with some interest. A prequel of sorts to the deliciously complex Peter Pan, Wendy tells the story of the Darling household and of the "intrepid, outspoken and wilful" Wendy herself. The household is not in well state; there are secrets, mysteries, "cruelty and hypocrisy".

It is not an easy book this, nor a likable one, but something about Wallace's prose does a
Mar 12, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Um No. This is a really bad book.

For starters, on the cover of the book (at least the one I have) it says an unforgettable story inspire by the world of Peter Pan. If that means only the names of the characters, then I guess they hit the nail right on the head. This book had nothing to do with Peter Pan. Nothing. And at the last sentence of the book. Literally the last sentence, they try to redeem the whole story by saying and I quote " Then they flew to a place that glittered with the col
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
All the children seem too old for their age in their dialogue, and not as if they're smarter than their ages, but as if the author had never been around children and was only basing her knowledge of them from secondhand accounts (and maybe even "Kids Say the Darnedest Things"). From the very first pages I felt the story wouldn't connect at all to Sir J.M. Barrie's brilliant classic, and my feelings were confirmed by the conclusion. Although we know very little, if anything, about Mr. and Mrs. Da ...more
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