The Bridge to Never Land Hardcover – Aug 9 2011
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About the Author
Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of more than a dozen books, includingDave Barry's History of the Millennium (So Far);The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog;Dave Barry's Money Secrets; andBig Trouble. Along with Ridley Pearson, he is the co-author ofPeter and the Starcatchers,Peter and the Shadow Thieves,Peter and the Secret of Rundoon,Escape from the Carnivale,Cave of the Dark Wind,Blood Tide,andScience Fair.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Without revealing anything about the plot, if you are a fan of the books you will find that "Bridge" is okay, just okay. There are some very creative elements. There is a dash of historical fiction, and there are some moments where you get really nervous for the characters. However it is not good enough and is not what I have come to expect of this series. I did not care for the characters, I did not like the "feel". And although simply a matter of prefrence, I wish they had not brought the story into the 2000's... All this being said, the book provided enough intrigue that I finished it with a smile.
I suspect, and I may be way off base, that Dave Barry had less to do with this story than the other four. This book felt like another installment of the Kingdom Keepers for the first 3/5 and then a quick Neverland tale is thrown in at the end. The Kingdom Keepers series was almost unreadable, for me, after the first book. I hope this is not the direction of the series from here on out.
On a side note, and I do not want to sound like I am just picking out things to be critical but this really bothered me. As one reviewer mentioned in a review, I am not sure why the author felt like the characters had to use the word "God" so often. This is very offensive to people from many religious backgrounds.
I hope the series continues, but I would like for it to go back to being more like a Starcatcher book, than Kingdom Keepers.
This book starts out as a mystery, turns into a ghost story, then a chase scene, then a mystery again, an adventure story, and ends with a little bit of everything mixed together. I loved it. Although the chase scene does get a little long, the ending is worth it.
There were several parts that had me laughing for several minutes (the flying van for example) and many parts that got my heart pumping.
Overall this book is an awsome extension of the Starcatcher series with some new twists and turns, and I hope another one will soon follow after.
Instead of dealing with family life common to previous generations, this time the authors decided to create a story involving current teens interacting with Peter and Neverland. To do this, they created a profoundly dysfunctional "modern" family, two siblings who can't interact respectfully with each other under any circumstances, a college professor with the emotional and social skills of a preteen, sick/twisted/extremely superficial semi-romances between several core and side characters, and a wholly unreasonable series of events. When I recall how Peter and Molly (both pre-teens, in the first book) behaved toward each other, their families, and other characters, it's obvious that careful thought, respect, affection, and care were interwoven into those relationships. Now, we're expected to contrast those mature, responsible, intelligent pre-teens of the past, with current supposedly technology-crazed, mentally dull, socially inept, rude older adolescents of today. I clearly get the message that the authors don't respect the teens of the 21st century and know them only superficially, as well.
The parents of these teens aren't interested in each other, nor their kids, while the family doesn't connect with each other except on the most superficial, distant, and indifferent/sarcastic levels, with genuine understanding, insight, affection, tenderness, and support lacking, in nearly every interaction. I've never read a book with such endless streams of sarcastic dialogue before, nor one in which the characters show so little growth or change, throughout the storyline. If this were a school assignment, I'd be handing it back to the authors with instructions to take the whole thing apart and redo it or fail the course, it's so badly constructed, on every level. There are even times that the grammar is incorrect but not in an artistically meaningful way - merely the result of boredom with the project by all who were involved with it, IMHO.
While Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are portrayed as having lived over 100 years, they are so shallowly depicted, one cannot sense that they've grown or matured either intellectually or psychologically, in all that time. While a human who was forever a biological child would not be expected to show any physical changes, it's beyond the realm of reason to believe they wouldn't become far more independent, skillful, and insightful, after having lived in one setting for 100 years. Their IQs would have to be at a very low level, were they to remain forever mentally/psychologically immature, despite a lack of puberty hormones and experiences.
I have no doubt that nearly every potential reader of this book could write a more interesting, creative, heart-warming, inspiring story about how s/he would stumble into a visit to Neverland today, than these authors did. Thankfully, I borrowed this book from our public library so I'm not stuck with this "lemon" on my bookshelf. It's time to give this series its final adieu, authors, before public praise for your work turns to public contempt.
Another thing that I found distracting was the high profile presence of Google, Apple and especially Disney in the story. In the book's forward there's mention of behind-the-scenes tours and I'm sure the authors were treated very nicely in appreciation. Disney couldn't have asked for better treatment had they wrote the book themselves.
The Bridge to Never Land (Starcatchers) by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. 2011. 448 pp.
One afternoon, Aiden and Sarah Cooper find a yellowed envelop in a hidden compartment of a desk. They decipher a cryptic message that leads Sarah to revisit one of her favorite book series, Peter and the Starcatchers. The authors entwine the Starcatchers lore into a modern setting and introduce the two new characters that must follow the clues to become the very heroes they worship.
The clues lead Aiden and Sara from their home in America to London (on a family vacation, of course) where they search for the locations from the earlier books. The segments of the kids in London reminded me of the Da Vinci Code and National Treasure. The family returns to America and Sarah attempts to hide the Starstuff but run into trouble. They contact one of the last members of the Astor family to see if he can offer any help and they unweave a tale that includes Albert Einstein and a visit with a beloved Magic Kingdom attraction.
As can be expected, time is spent on Never Land with the Mollusks, Captain Hook and Peter Pan. It is an exciting interlude that results with Peter visiting the Magic Kingdom to battle an immaterial villain from the series' past. The Bridge is great device that allows Never Land to exist yet remain hidden from modern eyes. Barry and Pearson have always added humor to the books, but it seems like their is a lot more levity in this title. It might be because the story is more modern or because the authors felt like they had more freedom with the newer characters.
I am not a fan of Pearson's Kingdom Keeper series--I found the Disney-related compromises that were taken for the story arc disconcerting and inaccurate. In Bridge, it was fairly simple to figure out that the trio was heading to the Magic Kingdom, so I suffered some trepidation about how Barry and Pearson were going to integrate the theme park into the story. Fortunately, they handled it wonderfully and the final act was exciting, page-turning and believable.
The Starcatchers series is well worth the time spent with all five books. There isn't a weak book in the series and each title expands the Peter Pan mythos in credible directions. I urge you to pick up Peter and the Starcatchers and start the journey. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, the Starcatchers titles are geared toward the young teen audience, but readers of all ages will enjoy their trips to Never Land. From the ending, I can assume that there will be a sixth title in the series coming soon. And I can't wait to get back to Never Land.