Peter and the Starcatchers
by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
I know, I know, it's in our YA section, but I truly think any 11-12 year old would LOVE to read this, and it's a great family read aloud story as well. This book tells of how things were before Peter Pan could fly, before Captain Hook had a hook, before the alligator swallowed a clock, and before Neverland! I know, pretty awesome, right? Read on. We find out Peter is an orphan in the first pages, and that a trunk is being loaded on his ship. (This trunk ends up being the main plot advancer, so I won't say more about it, so as not to spoil any of the fun). While on the ship, Peter and his companions are made to eat soup with live rats and bugs in it, and find out that they are meant to be slaves to King Zarboff, who feeds people he doesn't like to his pet snake! He learns this from Molly, who quickly becomes his partner in crime aboard the ship and for the rest of the series. Somehow (I won't tell you how), the boys and Molly (and some others...ahem), end up on an island where the story really starts to remind you of the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. This action packed adventure is choc-full of mermaids, natives, ships, pirates, and of course, a bit of magic. Don't miss this one!