Peter Pan in Scarlet

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Peter Pan in Scarlet Book Poster Image
Official Peter Pan sequel doesn't soar.

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Swords are brandished, a gun is mentioned, the children are threatened with death.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that several characters nearly die but don't, and there I's a lot of threatened violence -- though little actually occurs.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybioch April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byVolkswagon20 April 13, 2020

great follow up to the original

I love peter pan, and i believe that most girls would love to travel to Neverland, like me, and live with Peter Pan, so it always made me sad in the first book... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 22, 2010

prefer for teens

I think it was perfect. It shows how our actions effect others, changing them from once happy, worry free dreams to grumpy, miserable, and lonely people. It sho... Continue reading

What's the story?

Some 20 years have passed since the events chronicled in Peter Pan. The Lost Boys have grown up, little Michael has been killed in WWI, and the rest have careers and families. But dreams are leaking out of the Neverland, disturbing their sleep, and leaving all-too-real souvenirs. Gathering together with Wendy, they decide they must become children again and fly back to Neverland to find out what's wrong.

Once there they discover a land that is deteriorating, but they forget their mission. Finding the derelict "Jolly Roger" and a treasure map on board, they join Peter on an expedition to find Hook's treasure. They are joined by the mysterious Ravello, a circus-master, who becomes Peter's butler. But in Neverland, adults can only mean trouble.

Is it any good?

McCaughrean has sucked out the joy, the effervescent spirit, the humor -- everything that made Peter Pan a classic -- and produced a plodding slog of a story. The original may have been dark, but it was never dreary; it was woven of dreams and fairy dust. But here a scene involving quicksand is all too emblematic.

The journey to and up the Neverpeak alone is so tedious and sprawling, not to mention grinding and miserable, that many readers who have hung in that far will drop out. Now Peter seems like a crabby old man who grumbles about pains in his joints. This joyless, forced march badly needs an infusion of happy thoughts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this works as a sequel to the classic. How is the style similar or different? The characters? The story? Also, why is Peter so averse to adults and growing up?

Book details

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