It is super cold this weekend in New England, so naturally I’d like to dream about a place that is warm and full of adventure. Instead of a location that can be found on a GPS, how about ‘second star to the right, and straight on til morning’?
(We New Englanders prefer such directions over GPS locs anyway… ‘take a right at the third Dunkin’ Donuts’, ‘if you see the big rock and a split in the road, you’ve gone to far’, ‘sometimes there’s a moose on that there road, so you best slow down, but keep going straight and you’ll know when ya get there’, etc.)
I absolutely loved the Disney movie Peter Pan when I was a kid. More than any other Disney movie, for some reason, it swept me away and made me want to go to Neverland. And lucky for us, there are some amazing Peter Pan re-tellings to help keep the magic of J.M. Barrie alive after all of these years. If you haven’t read the original tale, you should. So go do that first. Then come back here for these re-tellings.
Think of all the joy you’ll find, when you leave the world behind, and bid your cares goodbye… you can fly!
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieved in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil. Best-selling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock to reveal the wonderful story that preceds J. M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed characters, from the scary but somehow familiar Black Stache and ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and fearless Peter. Page after page of riveting adventures take readers of all ages on a voyage from a filthy, crime-ridden port in old England across the turbulent sea. Aboard the Never Land is a trunk that holds the “greatest treasure on earth” – but is it gold, jewels, or something far more mysterious and dangerous?
Roiling waves and raging storms; skullduggery and pirate treachery provide the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing breakers eventually land our characters on Mollusk Island – where the action really heats up.
This impossible-to-put-down tale leads readers on an unforgettable journey – fraught with danger yet filled with mystical and magical moments.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
In this stunning re-imagining of J. M. Barrie’s beloved classic Peter Pan, New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson expertly weaves a gripping tale of love, loss, and adventure.
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair… Tiger Lily. When fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan deep in the forbidden woods of Neverland, the two form a bond that’s impossible to break, but also impossible to hold on to. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. However, when Wendy Darling, a girl who is everything Tiger Lily is not, arrives on the island, Tiger Lily discovers how far she is willing to go to keep Peter with her, and in Neverland.
Told from the perspective of tiny, fairy-sized Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily is the breathtaking story of budding romance, letting go and the pains of growing up.
Second Star by Alyssa Scheinmel
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete’s nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she’s falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up–and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
Everland by Wendy Spinale
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived the destruction and the outbreak of a deadly virus are children, among them sixteen-year-old Gwen Darling and her younger siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the deadly Marauders—the German army led by the cutthroat Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.
Unsure if the virus has spread past England’s borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook is on the hunt for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the surviving children. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return.
Until one day when they grab Joanna. Gwen will stop at nothing to get her sister back, but as she sets out, she crosses paths with a daredevil named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it might cost Gwen more than she bargained for. And are Gwen, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart the ruthless Captain Hook?
The Child Thief by Brom
Peter is quick, daring, and full of mischief—and like all boys, he loves to play, though his games often end in blood. His eyes are sparkling gold, and when he graces you with his smile you are his friend for life, but his promised land is not Neverland. Fourteen-year-old Nick would have been murdered by the drug dealers preying on his family had Peter not saved him. Now the irresistibly charismatic wild boy wants Nick to follow him to a secret place of great adventure, where magic is alive and you never grow old. Even though he is wary of Peter’s crazy talk of faeries and monsters, Nick agrees. After all, New York City is no longer safe for him, and what more could he possibly lose?
There is always more to lose.
Accompanying Peter to a gray and ravished island that was once a lush, enchanted paradise, Nick finds himself unwittingly recruited for a war that has raged for centuries—one where he must learn to fight or die among the “Devils,” Peter’s savage tribe of lost and stolen children.
There, Peter’s dark past is revealed: left to wolves as an infant, despised and hunted, Peter moves restlessly between the worlds of faerie and man. The Child Thief is a leader of bloodthirsty children, a brave friend, and a creature driven to do whatever he must to stop the “Flesh-eaters” and save the last, wild magic in this dying land.
And there we have it. A perfect weekend to while your time away in Neverland. Which Peter Pan re-tellings would you add?