Author: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Length: 451 pages
Series or Stand Alone: Book 1 of 4
Content appropriate for: Grades 4-7
Three adjectives that describe this book: adventurous, entertaining, uneven
I'm not a huge fan of Peter Pan, though, so I wasn't sure that I would enjoy it. But the audiobook is read by Jim Dale, and I could listen to him read an operation manual. The book starts off with a great deal of exciting pirate action, and ends with a massive run-around-the-island-while-being-chased sequence that lasts for about a quarter of the book. Everything in the middle, though, was really really blah.
The most blantantly awful part was the 50 minutes of expository writing, in which one character explained to Peter about magical dust and its powers. I'm not exaggerating. Jim Dale tried his best to make this terrible monologue of doom interesting, but it just wasn't. I almost abandoned the book halfway through those 50 minutes, but I decided to hold out until the plot made its triumphant return. I'm glad that I did because the ending was super fun.
I think this is a common mistake made when people who aren't used to writing for kids. They don't give them enough credit so instead of doling out the world-building in subtle ways, they hit the reader over the head. This is an extreme example, and those 50 minutes of explaining things really crippled this otherwise wonderful book.
I read this book for the Read By Ear category of the Reading Outside the Box Challenge. It also qualifies for The 2014 Audiobook Challenge, The Official TBR Pile Challenge, and I Love Library Books.