The Resource Always Neverland, by Zoe Barton
Always Neverland
Always Neverland
Statement of responsibility
by Zoe Barton
Always Neverland
Ashley is whisked away from her home by Peter Pan to help the Lost Boys with spring cleaning, but this "Wendy Girl's" love of adventure brings changes that are not enjoyed by all of Neverland's inhabitants
  • Grades 3-6 Ashley is bored. It’s Christmas vacation, her parents have to work, and her family doesn’t even have a tree. Life becomes much more exciting, though, when Peter Pan and Tinkerbell show up at her window and try to lure her to Neverland, where she will become their next Wendy-girl. While Ashley is all for adventure, she’s not eager to stand in as the Lost Boys’ mother or do housecleaning. Instead, she wants to make friends with Tinkerbell and Princess Tiger Lily, swim with the mermaids, and spar with Captain Hook. Peopled with familiar characters, yet spiced up with a decidedly feminist point of view, this debut riffs on the J. M. Barrie and Disney versions of Peter Pan, but just like its protagonist, it does so with a mind of its own. An enjoyably respun take on the classic story. -- Bradburn, Frances (Reviewed 10-15-2011) (Booklist, vol 108, number 4, p59)
  • Debut novelist Barton delivers a modern take on Peter Pan, as Peter and Tinker Bell fly feisty 11-year-old narrator Ashley off to Neverland. Much is made of the lineage of "Wendy girls," who mother the Lost Boys and supervise spring cleaning, as well as how independent Ashley fails to fit this traditional mold ("The other Wendy girls had to be a bunch of pushovers if they just helped the Lost Boys do all their chores without a peep of protest"). Instead, Ashley seeks her own adventures, outwits Captain Hook, and befriends mermaids. Barton has fun creating her own Neverland lore, including trees that can sprout sandwiches and a raid of a fairy colony to collect dust. Well-loved Peter Pan characters also get 21st-century twists, such as the crocodile who swallows Ashley's mother's iPod and announces his approach with Christmas carols. Though none of the characters, including Ashley herself, fully materialize as much more than archetypes upon which they are based, middle-grade readers ought to find Barton's restaging a lighthearted introduction to the classic story. Ages 8–12. Agent: Nancy Coffey Literary. (Oct.) --Staff (Reviewed December 12, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 50, p)
  • A petulant brat brings Girl Power to a Neverland devoid of whimsy and charm in this unnecessary sequel to Peter Pan. Sixth-grader Ashley feels very sorry for herself: Her parents actually have to work the weekend before Christmas, rather than stay home and fulfill her fantasy of the perfect holiday. Fortunately, she finds a strange boy trying to catch his shadow in her bedroom, instantly recognizing him and the potential for adventure. One quick glue job later, Ashley flies off as the latest "Wendy girl." But she has no intention of mothering the Lost Boys or doing the Spring Cleaning; her heart is set on fighting pirates and meeting mermaids. Alas, what could have been a witty, spirited romp is marred by the unlikable heroine, who, despite being a bossy self-centered showoff, is instantly better at everything (flying, sword-fighting, pretending) than everybody else and has little trouble making herself adored by all denizens of the fantasy isle. Peter himself has all of the arrogance and heartlessness of the original, but none of his cleverness and charisma. While the short chapters and frequent cliffhangers sustain a brisk pace, the plot and setting tepidly rehash Barrie's version with a few extra details borrowed from Narnia and Oz. There are many good stories still to tell about the Boy Who Never Grew Up, but this isn't one of them. (Fantasy. 9-12)(Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2011)
Cataloging source
no index present
Literary form
  • 2
  • 6
Target audience
Zoe Barton
Always Neverland, by Zoe Barton
Control code
20 cm.
308 p.
Isbn Type
System control number

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