Barry, D., & Pearson, R. (2006). Peter and the shadow thieves. New York, NY: Disney Editions/Hyperion Books for Children.
This book is a prequel to the story of Peter Pan. It has been popular for a while now and also fits well with the trend of retellings of fairytales. There is also a new Peter Pan movie coming out soon which may spark more interest in the book and for those who are fans of the stage performance there is also a Broadway show of Peter and the Starcatchers. It is also the first book in a five book series that is aimed at readers age 9-12 according to Barnes and Nobel.
The story starts with Peter and a few of the other boys from the orphanage being loaded on a ship named the Neverland and sent to the kingdom of Rundoon. Life on the ship is miserable for the boys particularly the inedible food. When Peter is exploring the ship looking for food he discovers a strange chest and a floating rat. He begins to investigate this mystery and discovers that another passenger Molly knows what’s going on. Eventually she lets him in on the secret of the starcatchers a secret society that collects mysterious star stuff with magical properties when it falls from the sky. There are also sinister others that are looking for the star stuff as well. In this book the pirate Black Stache discovers that there is a huge treasure hidden on the Neverland and goes after it, additionally one of the sailors on the ship is one of the others. It is up to Molly and Peter to save the chest of starstuff before it falls into the wrong hands. There is an epic ship battle where the Neverland is sunk by the pirates luckily Peter, Molly, and the other orphans escape to a nearby island. This is further complicated by the chest leaking magic power, when it washes ashore the starstuff turns some fish into mermaids who are then also fighting for control of the chest. Ultimately Peter is able to save the chest but in doing so is exposed for the starstuff for too long leaving him permanently able to fly and young forever. The story also explains the back story of other characters for example how Black Stache lost his hand and became Captain Hook and how the crocodile got a taste for his flesh. It would be interesting to create a book display around Peter Pan including the original book as well as new retellings, prequels and sequels.