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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  58,549 Ratings  ·  4,292 Reviews
Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the jo ...more
Paperback, 452 pages
Published April 25th 2006 by Disney-Hyperion (first published January 9th 2004)
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Popular Answered Questions

I mean Ahem...
This book isn't boring!
It's really really really awesome!
I love the creativity and magical plot!
I mean Ahem...
This book isn't boring!
It's really really really awesome!
I love the creativity and magical plot!
It's totally awesome!
I mean I don't know what you like to read and all
But this book is awesome!
I don't know if you gave it a chance,...
But when I saw it on the shelf at the bookstore
I just had had had to buy it..
And once I bought it..
I read it in the car..
Kept reading it when I got home..
Was still reading and skipped dinner for it..
Still read till my eyes got puffy from squinting in the dark..
This book is a page turner...
So you should really give it a try!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 23, 2008 Billy rated it really liked it
Pulitzer Prize winning humorist Dave Barry, best selling mystery writer Ridley Pearson, and illustrator Greg Call have combined their talents to create a series of prequels to the J.M. Barrie classic Peter Pan. This is the first of those stories.

Let me start my little review by saying that this book is so fun, exciting, and enjoyable that I have completely forgotten (almost) the creepy feeling I felt as a 42 year old man wandering around the children's section of the library looking for it.

Yes i
*Reviewer's Note: obviously, there isn't a movie version of this book (yet, anyway - they're supposedly working on one, which will probably be terrible but I'll save that rant for later) so once again I have to put a book on my The Movie Is Better shelf because I can't be bothered to create a shelf titled The Stage Adaptation Is Better. Just keep in mind that if that shelf existed, this book would be there*

First, Some Background: (for review of actual book, please skip ahead to paragraph four) S
Michael Fierce
Apr 10, 2012 Michael Fierce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Peter Pan
descriptionSometimes I think I am Peter Pan because if growing up means you have to put down or put away the things you've loved since you were a kid then I can tell you I don't want to grow up. Not now. Not ever. Never. Ever.

I planned to read the original classic one day, having always been a fan of the Disney animated cartoon version growing up, that forever connected me to Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Wendy and all the wonderful characters and places associated with Kensington Gardens and Neverland. I coul
Oct 12, 2007 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: for fans of harry potter?
Loved it. Great fantasy. prequel to peter pan. grades late 4th - 8. Grade 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 Starcatc ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Janssen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, fantasy, 2007
I love Dave Barry. My parents both adore Dave Barry, as does my grandmother, and they've been reading or handing off various columns and books of his to me for as long as I can remember. I've read practically every column he's ever written and most of his books. For some reason, though, I've never read his novels, Big Trouble and Tricky Business. I love his non-fiction columns, so I was less interested in his fictional books. Then, when I went home for Christmas, my brother was reading the secon ...more
Sep 26, 2007 Lissa rated it liked it
I picked this book up in the airport on my way to South Africa because I thought it looked a bit Harry Potter-esque. I knew it was a book for children, but it had a heft similar to the Harry Potter books, and I was looking for something light and fast to read. Sometimes, for plane reading, I don't want something heavy and ponderous - just something that will keep my attention and interest for long enough to get from here to there. Unfortunately, the heft of the book and the magical subject matte ...more
Feb 24, 2008 Morgan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone wanting a little adventure
Recommended to Morgan by: Mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 18, 2009 Travis rated it did not like it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
If you are going to write a prequel and explain everything about a book considered a 'classic' than at least come up up with something better than this.
Somehow two fairly talented writers got together and managed to suck most of the fun and magic out of Peter Pan.
That takes effort.

The explaination of how NeverLand came to be is on a level of feeble right up there with George Lucas deciding the Force is caused by alien germs.

The only character I liked was the pirate that eventually becomes Captai
JP Seabury
Nov 28, 2008 JP Seabury rated it really liked it
I have vague childhood memories of the tale of Peter Pan and Wendy, which probably come more from the Disney movie than any books that might have been read to me as a child. But from what I remember, it was one of those stories that starts in the middle of some other story.

You don't know, for instance, how Peter Pan came to be a boy who could fly, or never grow-up. You don't know how it is that he lives on an island with the Lost Boys, a tribe of "Indians", and his arch-nemesis, Captain Hook.

Apr 18, 2008 Cindy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children, families, Disney fans
Recommended to Cindy by: book club
Shelves: children
This was chosen as a book club read for me, and my initial reaction to the selection was "Oh, no. Not another Peter Pan story." I was pleasantly surprised at this "prequel" series. It is definitely recommended for kids, but I enjoyed it myself. I thought the ideas of how Pater Pan and his friends came to be was quite creative. For any audio book fans, this is read by Jim Dale of Harry Potter fame. Just like in Rowling's books, Dale is fabulous at reading these stories. The book (and its sequels) ...more
Angelic Zaizai
Jun 25, 2009 Angelic Zaizai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Mau tau kenapa Peter [pan:] bisa terbang ??
Mau tau kenapa Peter tetep jadi anak2 selamanya ??
Mau tau kenapa ada nama Neverland ?
Mau tau kapan Peter kenalan sama Molly ?
Mau tau darimana asal Wendy ??

Mau ???
Pake Three.. eh baca aja novel ini.. seruuuu

*serasa deja vu gini.. pas banget ya King of Neverland - Michael Jackson meninggal... RIP*
Joe Hunt
May 31, 2012 Joe Hunt rated it did not like it
This book is horrible.

(Full disclosure: once upon a time, I thought Dave Barry was funny -- in the 80's -- so not a total hater.)

But I'm a huge J.M. Barrie fan (or Johnny Depp-as-J.M. Barrie).

p.s. I read it -- b/c I heard on comingsoon: they're going to make it into a movie.

Read the real Peter Pan alongside it -- I was doing that -- and you'll feel totally insulted.

The original...We've all seen the Disney cartoon (and the legend is so big), so we think we know it. But no.

It's so well-written. E
Wart Hill
I'm not entirely sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it, it was fun...but I felt oddly distanced from the characters and the story. I never felt fully invested. I don't know if that was just a me thing or if it was the book, but even so I did manage to get all the way through. And it was a nice, fun read.
Nov 15, 2016 Peter rated it it was amazing
This book by Dave Barry is very similar to the original Peter Pan But has more action and includes more info. It tells the adventure of Peter and his friends (all of whom are orphaned) on their journey across the sea while being chased by the most dreaded pirate in history: Black stache. I would recommend this book to fans of Peter Pan and other book like that.
Nov 03, 2016 Aoife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, library
3.5 stars
Dave Revere
Mar 24, 2014 Dave Revere rated it really liked it
Pirates and magic? Flying and stars? I was in before I even opened the book. Peter and the Starcatchers is a wonder-filled origin story for J.M. Barrie’s famous boy who never grew up. Peter Pan has always been the character with whom I most identify in fiction. His eternal dilemma between remaining static in the joys of boyhood and embarking on the greater adventure of growing up is ever poignant as I find myself becoming more proactive to prevent my own childlike sensibilities from slipping awa ...more
Tasasha Battle
Apr 23, 2013 Tasasha Battle rated it really liked it
In my placement my teacher choose to read to the students, as a relaxing fun literature for the end of the year, a book named Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. On my first glance at the book I assumed that it would be too advanced and confusing to read aloud to the students. However, when my teacher begun to read the students froze and was glued with their mouths open to the book’s content. From there I realized the value of reading to your students. Additionally, in o ...more
Feb 24, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
Where exactly did Peter Pan come from? How come he never ages? Just when did he and Tinkerbell meet?

Ever wonder? So did Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. They took it further - hence Peter and the Starcatchers!

The story begins with Peter and four other orphan boys placed on board a ship - the Never Land. The accommodations are wretched, the voyage even more so. Peter discovers a locked, guarded trunk with strange properties. A girl his age, Molly, seems to be the only other passenger aware of this
Sync audio free download week of July 3, 2014.

About 2.0 stars to 2.5 stars. Probably a better entertainment value for younger readers, Peter and the Starcatchers was a bit of a disappointment for me. I don't mind retellings, but this one just annoyed me a tad. It could be the narrator's voice - he was OK for most of the story, however he did do some truly cringe-worthy voices for some of the characters and I guess that put me off.

In any case, this is a retelling of Peter Pan and goes back to t
Mar 25, 2016 Ray rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I'm a sucker for anything "Peter Pan". The animated Disney film in 1953 is the first movie I can ever remember seeing in a theater, and I saw it 10 times over 2 days! I've seen just about every version there is, and even read the original book by James M. Barrie. "Peter and the Starcatchers"was the basis of the hit Broadway production back in 2012. I somehow managed to miss that one, but I highly recommend the book. It's a treat! Full of adventure, lots of action and a wry sense of humor, it ba ...more
Aug 30, 2015 Francesca rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
Jan 29, 2015 Kerri (Book Hoarder) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
How did I not notice that I have this one?? It looks so interesting!


This book was thoroughly enjoyable. Lighter, more middle grade-ish, but a fun adventure with interesting world building, lots of humour and action. :D I'm sorry I let it sit neglected on my shelves for so long!
sarah ▸ ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ɢᴇᴛ ᴋɪʟʟᴇᴅ, ᴡᴀʟᴋ ɪᴛ ᴏғғ
This story, Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, is the first book of the Peter and the Starcatchers series. In this teenage version of Peter Pan, orphaned Peter and 4 other orphan boys (James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted) set out on a journey from the dusty streets London across the ocean to a distant land called Rundoon, aboard a ship called the NeverLand. Once aboard, Peter and his friends have only one future ahead- becoming slaves for the king of Rundoon, His Ro ...more
Mar 17, 2011 Paige rated it really liked it
I thought this book was a michievous and fresh take on the classic Peter Pan story. It captured the original characters (with some minor different features or names) and some of the details, but it seemed like more of a pre-quel to the whole story of Peter Pan and Neverland. The characters and storyline are well descripted as well as well written, and the plot really captures your attention. I found that my mind kept getting wrapped up in the concept of the book, and I would get sucked into the ...more
Keith Moser
Feb 15, 2013 Keith Moser rated it it was amazing
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have created a fascinating prequel to the Peter Pan story we're all very familiar with in Peter and the Starcatchers.

I saw the Tony-award winning play Thanksgiving weekend last year and was blown away with its awesomeness.

(For those who don't know, this novel was adapted into a play that premiered in California, opened Off-Broadway and ran for just under a year with over 300 performances on Broadway. The VERY imaginative play and won the Tony Award for Best Feature
Nov 20, 2008 Jacquelyn rated it it was amazing
The stuff of legends is revealed to have come from the stars in this prequel to Barrie’s Peter Pan. Written by a different Barry, Dave, and co-author Ridley Pearson, Peter and the Starcatchers unfolds the story of the orphan boy and how he came to live and fly in Neverland. Peter is teamed with a brave Starcatcher named Molly, a rough seaman named Alf, and his group of lost boys in this tale of myths and morals. With a little help from dolphins and mermaids, Peter and Molly fight pirates, island ...more
Krystl Louwagie
I really like the idea of this book-and plot wise, I don't mind how it's carried out, either. I like the possibility of this backstory. However, I couldn't stand the "humor" in this book. Could.Not.Stand.It. It really didn't help at all that it was being read by my personal least favorite reader OF ALL TIME, who reads at least 1/3 of all middle grade books. This humor is equivalent to slap stick and I just can't handle it. I've never been able to handle it, even when I was young. I didn't start ...more
Brandee Shafer
Nov 16, 2016 Brandee Shafer rated it really liked it
I'm pretty sure this is the longest book I've read to the girls. 451 pages. It took us a month to get through it, and I think we skipped only one night. I found our copy in a Good Will right after reading that a local high school was preparing to put on the play. I received the find as a gift and mapped out how much I needed to read aloud per night to finish before the play. It was a bit of a push.

The copy editor didn't do a very good job at all. I've honestly never caught so many typo-ish error
Oct 01, 2011 Rosie rated it really liked it
I remember reading this book a few years back and thinking, "Peter Pan." I'm serious, this book is practially the prologue to the Disney movie: Peter Pan.

What I thought: It was sweet, funny, and interesting enough to keep me reading it. Great plot, great characters, great idea. Although it was a bit predictable, what can you expect? It IS a children's book after all.

I believe I read the next few books in the series and thinking that they all were equally awesome. But once the authors got to the
Apr 05, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading Dave Barry since I learned to read. He is simply my favorite person, a great human and a great writer.

I discovered Ridley Pearson through this book, and the subsequent Kingdom Keepers series. That, and a great performance of the Rock Bottom Remainders.

I have probably read this book six times. I can often tell who wrote what passages. I lose myself in the drama and the humor every time. I see the tips of the hat to JM. Barrie, and the lore already associated with Peter Pan. I
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Around the Year i...: Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry 1 14 Jan 10, 2016 12:00PM  
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Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as
More about Dave Barry...

Other Books in the Series

Peter and the Starcatchers (5 books)
  • Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers, #2)
  • Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3)
  • Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4)
  • The Bridge to Never Land (Peter and the Starcatchers, #5)

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“Black Stache had no love for the Queen, no love for women of any sort, except for his ma. He had a real soft spot for his ma, and was truly sorry for the time he’d marooned her.” 38 likes
“If Peter was nine, and a new boy came to St. Norbert’s Home for Wayward Boys who said he was ten, why, then, Peter would declare himself eleven. Also, he could spit the farthest. That made him the undisputed leader.” 36 likes
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