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Starcatchers series

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The Starcatchers series of books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson are a set of novels that tie in with the famous play about Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. The first was written as a stand-alone prequel to the original work, but two follow-ups were promptly announced when it was successful, and a fourth (taking place years after the third) followed. A fifth book takes place in the present.

The four prequels to Peter and Wendy take advantage of the logo design of the first Starcatchers book, which features an intertwined P and S. Thus, each title takes the form Peter and the S________. The fifth book – set in the present – breaks the pattern.

Differences from the works of Barrie

The Starcatchers books have a number of continuity differences with the original novel, particularly contradicting the material in The Little White Bird, Barrie's prior story about Peter's early adventures. Most of these differences are established in the first book in the series. The following table identifies distinct differences between the works of Barry and Pearson, and those of Barrie. (LWB=The Little White Bird, P&W=Peter and Wendy, P&SC=Peter and the Starcatchers, P&ST=Peter and the Shadow Thieves, P&SR=Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, P&SM=Peter and the Sword of Mercy)

Barry and Pearson Barrie
Peter's origin Peter is an orphan from St. Norbert's Home for Wayward Boys. He is shipwrecked on the island of Neverland. (P&SC) He is later revealed to be the son of a Mr. Pan, who is a Watcher for starstuff. (P&SR) Peter flies away when he is a baby and has adventures in Kensington Gardens. He flies to Neverland after being "abandoned" by his mother. (LWB)
Peter's appearance Peter is approximately twelve to fourteen years old. He wears rags. (P&SC) Peter still has all his baby teeth. He wears clothing made of leaves. (P&W)
Peter's personality Peter feels a great sense of responsibility for his friends. He is also attracted to girls, particularly Molly and the mermaid Teacher. (P&SC) Peter is very careless, spending his time on adventures and play, and he never feels guilty for anything. He never notices that he is adored by Wendy Darling, Tiger Lily, Tinker Bell, and the mermaids, thinking of girls (if at all) as mother figures. (P&W)
The Lost Boys Peter's original companions are from St. Norbert's Orphanage and were shipwrecked on Neverland. (P&SC) They leave for England after stating that "they are going to be men". (P&SR) The Lost Boys of Barry and Pearson's story are rescued from slavery in Rundoon. (P&SR) The Lost Boys were children who fell out of their carriages in Kensington Gardens, but not claimed within seven days. (P&W)
Captain Hook / Black Stache Black Stache is described as greasy and dirty, with a pock-marked face, black eyes and terrible breath, and a long stringy mustache and hair. His left hand is cut off by Peter in self-defense. (P&SC) Captain Hook is a tidy and dandified gentleman, with bright blue eyes, shiny dark curls, and a swarthy complexion. He copies the clothing of King Charles II, is somewhat musical, a magnificent storyteller, and loves sweet music and flowers. His right hand is purposely cut off by Peter in a battle. (P&W)
Tinker Bell A small green bird is immersed in a bag of starstuff, mutating into a fairy the crew names Tinker Bell. (P&SC) Tinker Bell, like all other fairies, was born either from the shattered laugh of the first baby, or from the first laugh of a new baby. (P&W)
Starstuff / Fairy dust Starstuff, a greenish powder found from stars, has a different effect on all creatures. For instance, when a human is exposed to it, it may give him/her the ability to fly. When a female fish is exposed to it she may become a mermaid. When a horse is exposed to it, it may become a centaur. Or when a bird is exposed to it, it may become a pixie, which is how Tinker Bell came into being. It can cause extreme greed, contributes to the genius of various artists, and has wonderful healing properties. Allows people to fly in limited amounts. (P&SC) Implicitly produced by fairies. Allows people to fly. (P&W)
Flight Peter gained permanent flying ability by over-exposure to starstuff. (P&SC) Peter – like all infants – was part bird, which allowed him to fly away. Later, the fairies helped him fly. (LWB) For others to fly, they must have access to fairy dust. (P&W)
Not growing up Peter was mutated by over-exposure to starstuff. (P&SC) A starstuff leak in the water of Mollusk Island caused the tribe, boys, pirates, and everything on the island to not age as long as they bathe in it each day. (P&SR) Peter escaped from growing up at the age of seven days. (LWB) He simply refused to grow up. (P&W)
Shadows Shadows are animate extensions of one's soul reflecting the owner's feelings, and without them humans are rendered zombie-like and unable to fly. (P&ST) Peter's shadow is like a piece of laundry after it's removed from him, and he flies to Neverland and back without it. (P&W)
Neverland Neverland is a physical island that can be reached by ship. Except in 'The Bridge to Neverland' then the island can only be reached by using the Bridge to Neverland (hints the title) Starstuff is responsible for all the strange creatures and conflicts in Neverland. (P&SC) Neverland is an island derived from a child's make-believe and dreams, which also shape the actual island and give it its magic. (P&W)
Mermaids The mermaids are fish mutated by starstuff into semi-human form. They do speak English and the Mollusk grunt click language The mermaids are simply imagined creatures, the original inhabitants of their lagoon. They are like human women, lazily combing their hair in the sun and playing ball games with bubbles. (P&W)
Island Natives The Mollusk Tribe resemble islanders of the Pacific or East Indies, with marine names (e.g. Fighting Prawn). (P&SC) The Piccaninny Tribe resembles American Indians, with corresponding names (e.g. Great Big Little Panther). (P&W)
George Darling 14-year-old George learns of Neverland and shadows from his friend Molly. (P&ST) Mister Darling ridicules the idea of a lost shadow until he is shown Peter's. (P&W)
The Crocodile The Crocodile is male and named Mr. Grin. The Crocodile is female and has no name. "When they have passed, comes the last figure of all, a gigantic crocodile. We shall see for whom she is looking presently." (P&W)

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