THE ISLAND OF LOST CHILDREN
REIMAGINING THE STORY OF
PETER & WENDY
By Kim Batchelor
Genre: Middle Grade / Fairy Tale / Fantasy
Publisher: Luna y Miel Publishing
Date of Publication: November 9, 2013
Number of Pages: 188
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Peter is still the boy who doesn’t grow up. Wendy is a girl who had to grow up too soon. And Wendy’s brother, Michael, has autism and a connection to The Island of Lost Children, a book for readers 8-12 and any fan of Peter Pan. When Peter leaves his island home, it’s to search for pick-up soccer games and mock sword fights. Wendy spends her evenings looking after her two brothers—sometimes bratty JJ as well as Michael—while her parents work nights.
In the midst of several unusual events including the disappearance of her classmate, Lily, at odds with her adoptive mother, Wendy doesn’t realize that Peter’s pirate nemesis is keeping an eye on her. Everything changes for Wendy and her family when a peculiar fairy named Bellatresse helps Peter find the girl whose stories he once listened to outside her bedroom window.
With its quirky humor and occasionally touching moments, The Island of Lost Children is about children creating their own stories, families, and communities, all while swashbuckling, navigating mystical rivers, riding child-made roller coasters, and, of course, sailing high through the open skies.
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I’m most familiar with the classic tale of Peter Pan through the various movies, including Hook. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to read this reimagined tale of adventure, mystery, and growing up. I really enjoyed the modern take with more and more twists along the way.
For a book reimagined from Peter Pan, I found it actually quite original and exciting to read. By highlighting issues in our world as well, I believe The Island of Lost Children is a great reading choice for students. It’s an easy read that challenges the mind and brings a quirky and mysterious edge to the reader. It’s also a great choice for adults by challenging their own memory of the original tale and weaving a new one for them to enjoy. I look forward to a Book 2 for sure.
Wendy takes care of her brothers and graciously lives each day being a good and responsible person. For someone so young, she’s such an admirable character. I really enjoyed reading her parts. With the modern struggles that the family faces, such as needing to live in a smaller place due to money struggles and then losing Nana, you can see why the kids feel a need to escape. Michael, Wendy’s brother, is autistic in the book and has a more highlighted role than the original. Wendy’s love for him really shines through and it was moving to read his experiences on the Island.
From my original view of Peter in the original stories, he almost didn’t seem human sometimes with his flippant interactions and thoughts about being young forever. This changed more for me from the very beginning. For one, Peter immediately mentions his memories of his mother and being lost. Also, he has moments of wondering what the children are leaving behind. Batchelor does a very good job of varying between her character perspectives. Also, I usually comment on a books imagery when it’s particularly wonderful. You will definitely love the visuals of the Island as it comes to life with each new page! I would definitely recommend this book, so enter the giveaway!
Kim Batchelor writes books for children and adults, stories both real and fantastical, foreign and domestic. She has been published in the Texas Observer, The Best of Friday Flash, and local literary journal, Contexas. She teaches creative writing to incarcerated women and lives in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas, with a spouse, two dogs, and way too many cats. One of her prized possessions is a busted tambourine given to her by Eddie Vedder. Okay, he tossed it to her in a dark stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, but the real story is never as interesting as the one she makes up.
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1 Winner: $25 Amazon Gift Card + Signed Copy of the Book
3 Winners: Signed Copies of the Book
November 7 – November 16, 2016
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