Peter & the Starcatchers

Peter & the Starcatchers

Book - 2004
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Peter, an orphan boy, and his friend Molly fight off thieves and pirates in order to keep the secret safe away from the diabolical Black Stache and his evil associate Mister Grin.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780786854455
Branch Call Number: J FICTION Barry Dave
Characteristics: 451 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Call, Greg
Pearson, Ridley
Alternative Title: Peter and the Starcatchers


From Library Staff

Peter sails on the ship Never Land and guards a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate.

Peter sails on the ship Never Land and guards a trunk of magical stardust from a greedy pirate.

From the critics

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Jun 02, 2020

I read this to my children and left parts out as I read. There are sexual references with the governess on a few pages that do not belong in a book for 9-12-year-olds. See pages 54 and 210. Also, the love interest/jealousy between the two main children is not needed for a good story. Last, but not least I did not like the crude references to sails looking like a brassiere.


“Peter and the Starcatchers” is a witty yet compelling novel that branches out from the classic tale of Peter Pan and gives it a backstory that slowly pieces together to answer the many questions of ‘how’ that Pan’s story leaves behind. It starts off at the perspective of a young orphan named Peter who, along with four other boys, is boarded onto a rickety ship where he finds himself encountering strange things that can only be explained by the green-eyed Molly who seems to be tangled up in the mess. Along their journey they run into pirates, a terrible and wonderful power hidden on the ship, and an island filled with mermaids, natives, and other strange things. I think it’s a very fitting backstory and I like how even though it uses so many elements of fantasy it still makes sense and is realistic. I also liked the clever writing and how the authors usually manage to interject passing jokes even when situations are serious, although to put in these jokes effectively, some of the characters have kind of static and even stereotypical personalities. This makes the story frequently seem kind of childish and light, which is not a bad thing, but at least for me personally, it’s not an incredibly appealing style. However, it does make the book suitable for enjoyable and comic reading. One thing in particular that I love about this book is its ending, and how it doesn’t force happiness, but rather ends on a bittersweet note even though the modern story of Peter Pan is considered happy. Its end gives a compelling and refreshing perspective to Pan’s normally flat and bright tale. All in all, I rate this 3.5/5 stars. Elena of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

May 25, 2018

Great. It took me 2 days to read, and I was loving it the whole way through. 11/10.

May 22, 2018

Just loved this, recommended to ALL

Jan 30, 2018

I really loved this book, it was magical and very adventurious! It is basically what happens before Peter Pan but I liked it a lot better... It has a lot of suspense and is very well written! (Dave Berry is very talented and thoughtful!) I defiantly recommend this!

Please hit the like button if you agree!!

Jul 13, 2017

This book is truly magical and just as good on the third time around. It tells the story Pete Pan's past in a way that makes it different from all of the other spin offs. It is serious and funny at times and really captures what it is like to be a kid. With porpoises involved what could go wrong.

Aug 25, 2016

I remember, as a child, enjoying the story of Peter Pan, but not the Disney movie. I felt the pull of Never Land- the fear of the pirates, the intrigue of the native peoples, and the mysterious beauty of the mermaids. This novel makes a beautiful origin story of how the island of Never Land came to be. It explains where the magic came from; and it does so in such a way that you believe it. Everything falls nicely into place by the end- even Tinker Bell.
I do have a few gripes, as usual. First, the part of the novel that takes place on the ships is way too long. It drags too much, and I found myself becoming uninterested only a third of the way through the book. Second, the pirates were way too nice for pirates. Stache had plenty of opportunity to kill, and he didn't, to which I call, "BS". A pirate that well known, that feared, doesn't get that way by simply tying up people and handing them lollipops. I understand that this is a JA novel. But if you're going to introduce pirates, make them act like actual pirates.
All in all it was a rather entertaining novel, and filled in the gaps to Peter Pan's backstory which were, in my opinion, sorely needed. I might even pick up the next one.

vpl_childrens Dec 08, 2015

For ages 9-12. Meet some delightful characters while discovering Peter Pan’s secret.

Aug 17, 2015

A very interesting twist on Peter Pan!

Jan 12, 2014

We read this for kids book club - boys and girls ages 9-10. These are our comments:

"Full of adventure! If you love pirates, you will love this book."

"This book is an introduction to Peter Pan."

"A cool book - pretty much a prequel to Peter Pan, etc."

"I like Peter and the Starcatchers because it was adventurous - like when Peter goes from St. Norbert's to a boat to an island and lots of stuff happens in between."

"This book is obsessed with flying stuff, which is awesome."

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Add Age Suitability
Dec 12, 2019

green_cobra_1221 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 13

RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

red_hawk_1182 Apr 28, 2016

red_hawk_1182 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

IanBarnes42 Nov 29, 2012

IanBarnes42 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

gainars_read Oct 25, 2012

gainars_read thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

Jul 13, 2012

Nicoletams thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

volleyballforever13 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 14

Jan 19, 2012

gerieowens thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

carollouise Jan 04, 2011

carollouise thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Nov 21, 2010

toniw thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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May 22, 2018

This is an amazing books that really sets the stage for Peter Pan. As young orphaned boy, Peter and four other boys from the orphanage are sent away on a ship to be servants to King Zarboff the Third (holds up three fingers ;). While the boys are on the ship (called the Never Land) they discover a mysterious trunk and meet Molly Aster, the daughter of a great Starcatcher, Leonardo Aster. They team up with her to stop the notorious pirate Black Stache and First Mate Slank before the evil men take dangerous power.


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Dec 06, 2018

Sexual Content: The author put quite a bit of emphasis on this topic. I wouldn't let my kids read it.


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