Parents' Guide to

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Exciting but violent -- not for sensitive kids.

Book J. V. Hart Adventure 2005
Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 1 parent review

age 11+

A good read for older kids

My daughter was interested in this, as she loves all things Peter Pan. I read it in an afternoon (older readers will have no problem with it) and as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, for younger kids, it is a bit violent. If your kids can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, are not prone to nightmares, and enjoy a good adventure story, they will probably love this one. If they get scared easily, I'd avoid it for a bit... poisonous spiders, sword fights, and a guillotine can leave one a bit frightened. More mature younger readers will also be fine with it, less mature older readers will need to be left to the parents judgment.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (1):

Hart, screenwriter of the movie Hook, has outdone himself in creating a fascinating hero/villain who is as magnetic to the reader as he is to his schoolmates. Hart uses as a springboard an obscure short story by J. M. Barrie, combining it with hints laced throughout Peter Pan to create a thrilling story that fleshes out the evil pirate captain's early life. Barrie always saw Hook as an intriguing, tragic figure, and a reflection of himself.

Hart's dark and violent conception of Hook is truer to Barrie's original vision than it is to the humorously foppish popinjay caricature Americans have come to know, thanks to Disney and Cyril Ritchard. In the original 1904 stage play, Hook was so terrifying that children often had to be carried out of the theater screaming. It takes more to shock the worldly kids of today, brought up on violent movies and video games. But no one can accuse Hart of not trying. And sensitive kids may still need a guiding hook, er, hand.

Book Details

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