When I was young I loved the notion of not growing up. To be eternally young and free from the many adult responsibilities that I saw my mother and her friends overtake. This, coupled with Disney’s own film variant of Peter Pan made my imagination run wild. When I was a child, I had the pleasure of reading Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson’s prequel, Peter and the Starcatchers.
In Peter and the Starcatchers, our protagonist, Peter escape from a crime-laden port in Old England and travel across the seas. During their voyage Peter encounters a mysterious girl his age named Molly as she accompanies her father across the seas guarding a very lucrative chest. Once thought to hold jewels and many other forms of treasure by its pursuers, we learn that it holds starstuff – a seemingly magical property that could not only heal wounds, but make the users euphoric, and in many cases, give them the ability to fly. There are many other abilities that are obtained whilst using Starstuff, and therefore is guarded closely by the Starcatcher association, the body of protectors that Leonard Aster, (Molly’s father) is a part of.
With any seafaring adventure, it’s normal to expect pirates – or criminals of the similar vein. And I was not disappointed as I tagged along with Molly, Peter, and the Lost Boys as they took on pirates of hugely dubious moral nature, as they attempted to lie, steal, and inflict violence to get at the Starstuff.
However, through the combined work of Molly, Peter, and The Lost Boys, we watch as they repel the advances of the pirates trying to obtain the Starstuff, and make the world a better place by keeping it safe.
What I really enjoyed about Peter and the Starcatchers was how Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson shied away from the vision of J.M. Barrie’s version of Peter Pan, and created their own interpretation. The inclusion of the Starstuff was remarkable for me as a child reader, and I believe that I still look upon that substance with a childlike wonder. From the Disney movie the normal method was to harass Tinkerbell until you could fly, but within Peter and the Starcatchers, the inclusion of such a powerful substance like Starstuff makes the book an even more tantalising story to read.
What I will say about this novel, however, is that from a child’s perspective, this book is absolutely massive. My edition is at a whopping 463 pages, and for younger readers who are exploring their literary tastes that may prove to be slightly daunting. Overall though, I loved this book as a child, and I certainly still love it as an adult. So much so I may give it another read after The Girl on The Train.
What kind of books were you reading as a child? What type of books are you reading now?
P.S. This week’s theme was on children’s books for a reason: tune in next time to find out!