Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2016 Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Wendy Spinale
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9780545836944
Hardcover Price: $17.99

Tough-girl heroine meets apocalypse in this dark, dystopian twist on Peter Pan.

A horrible virus has been let loose in Everland, killing or driving out the adults and leaving the children (more resistant to the disease) to their own limited devices to try to avert extinction.

They're surviving, but barely. Gwen, left in charge of two younger siblings after their parents disappeared, hides by day and scavenges by night. The evil Prince Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer - this story's Captain Hook - leads his team of evil marauders around the dank and crumbling city, randomly kidnapping children he thinks may be immune, and who will provide him a cure.

When he kidnaps Gwen's sister, the story kicks into gear. Gwen befriends Peter, the leader of an underground and remarkably resourceful group of Lost Boys, and when it turns out she is one of the Immunes, they find they can benefit each other.

Using her Immune status as leverage, Gwen persuades Peter and the Lost Boys to rescue her sister from Hook. Creepy corridors, and savage reptiles abound.

The Peter Pan references are plentiful and fun, but the story is dark. When you think the good guys can't possibly face anything worse or more gruesome, they do. I suggest reading in a bright, well-lit room.

Teresa DiFalco   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Teresa DiFalco is an award-winning ghostwriter, writer, and mother in Vancouver, Washington. She's been a contributing editor for Parents' Choice for over ten years. She's a strong speller, a menace at badminton, and makes a decent soufflé.

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