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Always Neverland

Review

Always Neverland

Ashley is a modern-day Wendy Girl. She would rather seek adventure, fight pirates and befriend mermaids than sew or clean for the Lost Boys. In fact, when Peter Pan appears in her bedroom one night, she thinks it’s an intruder and throws her library book at him. It isn’t until his shadow becomes detached that she realizes he’s the true Peter Pan. He asks her to sew it on, but she doesn’t know how. So she super glues his shadow to him, a brilliant solution that he likes.

Peter has been coming to Ashley’s house for generations to bring Wendy Girls back to Neverland to be a “mom” and to spring clean for the Lost Boys. Ashley always thought that her Grandma Delaney gave her a copy of the Peter Pan book to get her to read more, but now suspects she must have been a Wendy Girl as well.

While the other Wendy Girls may have been fine spring cleaning, there is no way that Ashley wants to do this during her free time. But she knows she can’t lead on about her real wishes; she doesn’t want to miss out on an exciting journey in Neverland. She is rearing to go. Just like the original story, Tink is annoyed with the new Wendy Girl and doesn’t want to share her fairy dust. Peter is too quick. With a sprinkle of fairy dust and happy thoughts, they fly out the window and on to Neverland.

Trouble seems to follow them there. The pirates are irate when Ashley and Peter take Hook’s pirate hat. Soon cannonballs are blasting through the clouds at them. After escaping the fight, they just keep getting into trouble. Some of their problems stem from jealousy. Peter is angry with Ashley more than once for outsmarting him and coming up with clever plans. Tink is no friend of Ashley, who makes another enemy too. When the pirates capture her and Tiger Lily, the girls fight side-by-side. After Peter and the Lost Boys rescue them, Ashley thinks that Tiger Lily would want to be friends, but finds out that Tiger Lily dislikes her too. In spite of their initial grudges, however, almost everyone she encounters will eventually need her help and quick wit to get them out of sticky situations.

Girls and boys will be mesmerized by these exciting adventures and enjoy Ashley’s take-charge attitude. She doesn’t sit by idly, but rather throws herself into the action. Smart, sassy and spirited, she experiences real fights with bows and arrows, narrowly escapes from crocodiles, and much more. Along the way, she learns important lessons about friendship and family. I’m curious to pick up the original story again to compare the two versions.

Reviewed by Kathy Purcell on October 11, 2011

Always Neverland
by Zoe Barton

  • Publication Date: January 29, 2013
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0061963275
  • ISBN-13: 9780061963278