cover image The Bridge To Never Land

The Bridge To Never Land

Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3865-5

Pearson and Barry bring their Starcatchers series into the modern day, injecting it with a dose of metafiction in the process. Siblings Sarah and Aidan Cooper, ages 17 and 15, know all about Peter Pan's secret origin, having read the Starcatchers books when they were younger, but they never dreamed it could be real until they discover a riddle hidden in an old desk. Following the clues while on vacation in England, they find the last stash of magical starstuff on Earth, only to be stalked by the malevolent Lord Ombra. To protect themselves and keep the starstuff from Ombra, they track down the remnants of the Starcatchers and travel to Never Land, where they're swept up in the ongoing conflict between Peter Pan and Captain Hook. The book's joyful sense of adventure and wonder is tempered somewhat by the constant pursuit of authorities and parental figures, as well as scenes set in Disney World that seem to be designed to remind readers that runaway children are serious business in this day and age. Nonetheless, it's a worthy complement to the series. Ages 10%E2%80%93up. (Sept.)