Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Barry, Dave.
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
ISBN 0786854456
(3 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Do you love a good, rousing tale of pirates, stolen treasure, and magic? Have you always wanted to know how Peter Pan ended up in Neverland—or what Captain Hook’s name was before he had that argument with a crocodile? Do you just love to curl up with a nice, thick book? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this is the book for you!!  And if the answer to these questions is no, THIS IS STILL THE BOOK FOR YOU!!!!   The story is told so well (in nice, short chapters!), the characters are so much fun (even the bad guys!) and the action is so nonstop that you’ll find yourself loving this book even if it’s not the kind of book you usually like! WARNING: Once you start this book, you WILL NOT want to put it down until you’re finished!!!  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face committee, 2005-2006)

Booktalk #2

Did you like the story about Peter Pan and Wendy? Did you ever wonder why Peter and the Lost Boys never change while the boys and girls they come to see in our world grow up? Between these covers you will step into the world before Neverland existed. There in front of your very eyes, good and evil will do battle – magic will change the characters forever!  (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

Booktalk #3

The five boys were being taken from the orphanage and transported via a ship, the Never Land, to an unknown (to them) destination. Peter was the leader of the boys. He was, after all, the oldest of the boys. Even though he had no idea how old he was, Peter was always one year older than the oldest of the others.

Then Peter met Molly who changed his world forever. Molly who said her birthday was only celebrated every two years, so she really was older that Peter (they eventually decided to be the same age). Molly whose father was a Starcatcher and was training herself to be a Starcatcher.

The Starcatchers were a group who collected starstuff that fell as meteors from the sky. Starstuff that had magical-like powers, like flying. Starstuff that was prized by the Others as a means of gaining power to do evil in the world.

Recently, the largest amount of starstuff ever found had been captured by the Others and was being transferred to an evil King. The same evil King that Peter and the boys were being sent to as it turned out. Molly’s father was on the Wasp, the brand new sleek sailing ship that was the pride of the British navy. He was there to take the trunk of starstuff from the beautiful black trunk that the others were transporting it in, and had sent Molly and her governess on the Never Land for their own safety to protect them from pirate. Or so he thought.

For, as it turned out, the Others had loaded the starstuff onto an old common-looking trunk onto the Never Land, outfoxing both the Starcatchers and Black Stache, the meanest, most feared pirate of the seas. When Black Stache captured and commandeered the Wasp and found the treasure missing, he immediately set his sights on capturing the old Never Land.

The Never Land was busted apart in a huge storm and the boys captured by the natives of the island who put them over a wall with Mister Grin, a giant crocodile.

And, so was born a legend.

So you know the story of Peter Pan, right? The original book was published in 1911 and the Disney movie from the 1950s isn't far from the novel. Did you ever wonder how the island of Neverland became magical? How Peter cut off Hook’s hand? And how the huge alligator got a taste for pirates? What about where Tinker Bell came from and why she is so loyal to Peter? What about the “star stuff” that makes Peter able to fly?

The Peter in this book, Peter and the Starcatchers, you'll find the answers to these queries. This Peter is that Peter Pan but set before Neverland existed and before Peter was forever a boy.

Peter is an English orphan who is sent to sea and ends up caught up in a huge sea adventure with pirates, Starcatchers (people who try to keep the magic star stuff out of the hands of the bad guys), and bad guys who want the star stuff. Throw in an island that becomes Neverland, fish that become mermaids, orphans who become Lost Boys, and cannibals who hunt them all – and Tinker Bell’s birth. And don't forget a huge flying alligator... who doesn’t yet have a clock inside him when he tries to eat Peter.  (Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2007-2008)

SUBJECTS:     Magic -- Fiction.
                        Pirates -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        Characters in literature -- Fiction.
                        Friendship -- Fiction.
                        Islands -- Fiction.
                        Humorous stories.


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