Peter and the Starcatchers

Version: Unabridged
Author: Dave Barry , Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genres: Fiction, Teen
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published In: August 2004
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 9 hours
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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 thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil. Bestselling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock and revealed a wonderful story that precedes 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 the ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and the fearless Peter. Riveting adventure takes listeners on a journey from a harsh orphanage in old England to a treacherous sea in a decrepit old tub. Aboard the Never Land is a trunk that holds a magical substance with the power to change the fate of the world—just a sprinkle and wounds heal and just a dusting and people can fly.Towering seas and a violent storm are the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing waves eventually land our characters on Mollusk Island—where the action really heats up.

Reviews (20)

Written by Kathryn Oak on December 25th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

My 4th grader says it was really good. She really liked how the author incorporated the "star stuff" into the story. (It helped explain why Peter Pan never grew up.)

Written by Taylor Johnston on March 29th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Love it so much. Peter Pan has been a favorite sense childhood

Written by Emily Austin on February 18th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Jim Dale is an outstanding reader, and the book itself is clever and satisfying. I highly recommend it, especially for younger reader (age 10-12, perhaps), and for adults young at heart.

Written by Rachel Safier on December 1st, 2015

  • Book Rating: 5/5

We loved this Peter Pan original! Jim Dale is an awesome narrator.

Written by Rosemary Rakich on June 7th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have read this to y 4th graders for last 6 years each kid loved it so they earn class minutes to do theread alouds.

Written by Richard Sheafor on April 30th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I enjoyed this book. I find it appealing to young readers. It was easy to fallow.

Peter and the Starcatchers

Written by neetabug on May 2nd, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

LOVED IT! Loved it! Loved it... and here's a secret... i have no kids. I am familiar with Dave Barry from his Miami Herald columns back in the day, but this book was a wonderful surprise. I sometimes would circle the block just to keep listening, unwilling to let the story go quiet. i was sad when it was finished because there would be no more of the narrator's wonderful voices and intonations to people the stage of my mind with colorful characters.

great book

Written by Anonymous on February 8th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a great book. My 7 and 9 yr olds really loved it. We cant wait to get the rest of the series.

I was disappointed

Written by Anonymous on February 9th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Oh, for heaven's sake - how hard is it to write a "prequel" to an existing classic? This would have been a fine story - except - at some point, you realize that you absolutely know everything that is going to happen because it is working backward from the original. Everything except feeding the clock to the crocodile is in here, from not aging to tinkerbell to the name of the island. The reading is by Jim Dale - who also does the Harry Potter novels - and it's the same voices. The mean pirate is Hagrid's voice, and that's just too weird.

Great Story

Written by Dan Pressley on June 18th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was a great story. It moved at a good pace, had a good amount of action and intrigue and painted a perfect picture of how Peter Pan came to be. I think that it probably isn't suitable for children under 10 as there tends to be a little more violence and this is not the Disney version of a story for kids. Can't wait to check out the next book.

Author Details

Author Details

Barry, Dave

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 the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave.

Dave plays lead guitar in a literary rock band called the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom. They are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud. Dave has also made many TV appearances, including one on the David Letterman show where he proved that it is possible to set fire to a pair of men's underpants with a Barbie doll.

In his spare time, Dave is a candidate for president of the United States. If elected, his highest priority will be to seek the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans install low-flow toilets.

Dave lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter. He has a son, Rob, and a daughter, Sophie, neither of whom thinks he's funny.

Pearson, Ridley

Crime may not always pay, but crime fiction always sells, and Ridley Pearson is one of the stars of the genre, the kind of writer whose royalties keep his family fed and cover a few extras as well (like, say, his own airplane). Yet Pearson didn't spend his youth dreaming of bestsellerdom. His first ambition was to be a musician, and he spent most of his twenties writing and performing folk-rock songs. The idea that he might become a novelist came later. As he explained in a Barnes and Noble interview, he was reading a Robert Ludlum novel when "a voice spoke up from inside me and said, 'I can do this.'" (Once he began writing and discovered firsthand the skill involved in crafting a cohesive thriller, he realized how much he had presumed!)

Pearson is renowned for fast-paced, thrill-a-minute suspense novels that include "a rare humanism and attention to detail" (Publishers Weekly). In a Greenwich Magazine interview he called his work "aerobic fiction, because I hope to get your heart pounding and get you turning pages." Entertainment Weekly dubbed him "the thinking person's Robert Ludlum."

As his fans know, Pearson works hard at nailing the details of forensic investigation and police procedure. In Undercurrents (the first novel in his Seattle-based Lou Boldt mystery series) his research was so thorough -- he consulted an expert in oceanography -- that the book helped convict an actual murderer. A Washington state prosecuting attorney happened to be reading it while working on a case similar to Pearson's fictional one: A woman's body had been found in a bay, and at first it appeared that she had committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. The oceanographer mentioned in Pearson's acknowledgements was called in as an expert witness to help prove that, based on tidal currents, the woman must have been dead before the time her husband claimed to have last seen her. Due largely to the expert testimony, the victim's husband was convicted of second-degree murder.

Of course, there's more to a Pearson novel than research. "Just what is it about Ridley Pearson that makes him the best damn thriller writer on the planet?" mused Bill Ott in BookList. "We've celebrated the forensic detail, the taut plotting, the multidimensional characters, and the screw-tightening suspense, but lots of fiction writers do all that. Here's a theory: Pearson is a master at manipulating opposites. His stories are forever jumping from high concept to small scale, from positive to negative charges, manipulating our emotions and minds with their polar hip-hopping."

When he's not writing, Pearson still makes music -- he's the bass guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, an amateur rock band made up of professional writers including Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom. (The group's motto, coined by Barry: "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.")

It was while Pearson was in Miami to play with the Rock Bottom Remainders that he told Barry about his idea (actually, daughter Paige's idea) for a prequel to Peter Pan. The two authors had such a good time hashing out possibilities over breakfast that Pearson asked Barry to write the book with him. Published in 2004, their clever collaboration Peter and the Starcatchers became a huge bestseller, spawning two sequels (Peter and the Shadow Thieves in 2006 and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon in 2007) and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Even though Pearson thoroughly enjoys crafting juvenile fiction, his adult fans need not worry that he's abandoned his high-voltage crime novels. Indeed, he has said that writing gives him the same "adrenaline rush," no matter which audience he is targeting: Readers of all ages appreciate the imagination, suspense, and an impeccable eye for detail he brings to all his fiction.