Thursday, January 19, 2006

Two New Peter Pan Stories

According to an article in today's Independent, there are going to be two new books about J M Barrie's Peter Pan. One is the officially sanctioned as-yet-unnamed (the title is due to be revealed tomorrow) sequel written by the award-winning children's author Geraldine (White Darkness) McCaughrean, who was selected to write the sequel as the result of an international competition. The sequel will be published later this year to raise new funds for Great Ormond Street, the famous children's hospital in London, to which Barrie bequeathed the rights to his famous tale of the boy who never grew up.

The second book is a a prequel to the story which has already been published in America, has sold 500,000 copies and has spent weeks in The New York Times bestseller list. This prequel, Peter and the Starcatchers, will be published here in the UK in February, with a second story, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, ready to follow it, and a third in the pipeline. The new titles, by Ridley Pearson, a crime writer and his friend, Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, have been snapped up by Disney. Disney will be starting a new series of computer-generated Peter Pan animations based on the books.

Unfortunately, the American publications are not covered by Barrie's bequest, so the hospital has not earned any royalties from the copies sold there. A Great Ormond Street hospital spokeswoman has pointed out that the unnamed book by McCaughrean is the only officially sanctioned title. "We urge anybody who's interested in reading a good book to buy our sequel," she said. The two men, who belong to a band with fellow writers Amy Tan, Scott Turow and Stephen King, have promised to bring the band to the UK to give a fund-raising concert for the hospital.


Martin LaBar said...

I read Peter and the Starcatchers, and didn't think it came close to the original.

Michele said...

I've only read Barrie's Peter Pan - and that was quite some years ago. I remember it didn't appeal to me much at the time...