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Sisters of the Neversea

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In this modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan, award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek) brilliantly shifts the focus from the boy who won’t grow up to Native American Lily and English Wendy—stepsisters who must face both dangers and wonders to find their way back to the family they love. Stepsisters Lily and Wendy embark on a high-flying journey of In this modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan, award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek) brilliantly shifts the focus from the boy who won’t grow up to Native American Lily and English Wendy—stepsisters who must face both dangers and wonders to find their way back to the family they love. Stepsisters Lily and Wendy embark on a high-flying journey of magic, adventure, and courage—to a fairy-tale island known as Neverland. Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters. But with their feuding parents planning to spend the summer apart, what will become of their family—and their friendship? Little do they know that a mysterious boy has been watching them from the oak tree outside their window. A boy who intends to take them away from home for good, to an island of wild animals, Merfolk, Fairies, and kidnapped children. A boy who calls himself Peter Pan.


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In this modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan, award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek) brilliantly shifts the focus from the boy who won’t grow up to Native American Lily and English Wendy—stepsisters who must face both dangers and wonders to find their way back to the family they love. Stepsisters Lily and Wendy embark on a high-flying journey of In this modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan, award-winning author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek) brilliantly shifts the focus from the boy who won’t grow up to Native American Lily and English Wendy—stepsisters who must face both dangers and wonders to find their way back to the family they love. Stepsisters Lily and Wendy embark on a high-flying journey of magic, adventure, and courage—to a fairy-tale island known as Neverland. Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters. But with their feuding parents planning to spend the summer apart, what will become of their family—and their friendship? Little do they know that a mysterious boy has been watching them from the oak tree outside their window. A boy who intends to take them away from home for good, to an island of wild animals, Merfolk, Fairies, and kidnapped children. A boy who calls himself Peter Pan.

30 review for Sisters of the Neversea

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gail Levine

    A fresh look at Peter Pan in a tale that honors the Barrie original without glossing over its flaws. This sweet and exciting novel puts family, community, and kindness first. A great read!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    This was an incredible take on the classic text. It dives joyfully into many of the wonderful things about the original story and also throws in heavy but not heavyHANDED criticism, not just on the racism, but on Peter Pan being a little shithead. Such a delight.

  3. 5 out of 5

    megan baggins

    Saw this on the Instagram page for We Need Diverse Books and DANG!! A retelling of Peter Pan, told from an Indigenous perspective (finally)???? I'm marking June 1 2021 on my calendar. I cannot wait to read this. Saw this on the Instagram page for We Need Diverse Books and DANG!! A retelling of Peter Pan, told from an Indigenous perspective (finally)???? I'm marking June 1 2021 on my calendar. I cannot wait to read this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Sisters of the Neversea is a powerful and magical Indigenous retelling of Peter Pan. The story follows stepsisters Wendy (English) and Lily (Muscogee Creek). Wendy and her stepbrother are lured to Neverland by Peter Pan. Lily ends up separated. Wendy and Lily both have to find a way back to each other and hurry before they understand what it means to become one of the Lost. Smith blew me away with this retelling. Smith takes the magic and wonder of Neverland and Peter Pan and unapologetically ex Sisters of the Neversea is a powerful and magical Indigenous retelling of Peter Pan. The story follows stepsisters Wendy (English) and Lily (Muscogee Creek). Wendy and her stepbrother are lured to Neverland by Peter Pan. Lily ends up separated. Wendy and Lily both have to find a way back to each other and hurry before they understand what it means to become one of the Lost. Smith blew me away with this retelling. Smith takes the magic and wonder of Neverland and Peter Pan and unapologetically exposes the harmful depiction of Native Americans in this classic story and turns the narrative into Indigenous children being the heroes of this story. While I can’t speak to specifics about Indigenous representation (please see own voices reviewers), I will note that Smith includes Indigenous children from multiple tribes throughout the story to highlight the different tribes in history since Neverland doesn’t age. If you’re looking for a fresh take on Peter Pan with some characters that you will immediately fall in love with then this is your book! Thank you to HarperKids for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karly-Lynne (storybookcook)

    This is a stunning revisionist fairy tale that reimagines Peter Pan from the point of view of two stepsisters, Lily Roberts who is Muscogee Creek and Wendy Darling, a white English-born girl. Like many, I grew up with Peter Pan and although there are still elements of the story that I find enchanting, I have no interest in revisiting the Barrie’s original novel or many of its adaptations because of racism and sexism those works are so deeply entrenched in. With Sisters of the Neversea, Leitich S This is a stunning revisionist fairy tale that reimagines Peter Pan from the point of view of two stepsisters, Lily Roberts who is Muscogee Creek and Wendy Darling, a white English-born girl. Like many, I grew up with Peter Pan and although there are still elements of the story that I find enchanting, I have no interest in revisiting the Barrie’s original novel or many of its adaptations because of racism and sexism those works are so deeply entrenched in. With Sisters of the Neversea, Leitich Smith captures the wonder of Neverland while reimagining its inhabitants to critique Barrie’s novel and allow Lily and Wendy to take back their story. While the book is itself a response to the harm done by the problematic representation of Barrie's work, the way in which stereotypes dehumanize marginalized people and lead to violence against them is also engaged with at a narrative level. Pan’s own mistreatment of Native kids living in Neverland stems from the stereotypes he has learned from the old Western storybooks about "cowboys and Indians” that he reads. The book offers such a rich discussion of the effects of representation and deals with larger themes of colonization within a beautifully written and constantly engaging fantasy adventure. I cannot say enough about this incredible, important middle grade novel! It is an absolute must-read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    I got so, so into this reimagined version of Peter Pan in which the focus is on representation, community, family, and -still- the adventures of its amazing characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin || erins_library

    (#gifted @harperkids/@theshelfstuff #HeartDrum) For years and years, there have been retelling of Peter Pan and in theatre I’ve seen debates about how a Peter Pan adaptation can respectfully represent Native characters. And generally the answer is you can’t do it. You can’t stick close to the original storyline and do justice to Indigenous people, and you can’t just get ride of the Native characters (a form of erasure). What Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek Nation) has done is created is much (#gifted @harperkids/@theshelfstuff #HeartDrum) For years and years, there have been retelling of Peter Pan and in theatre I’ve seen debates about how a Peter Pan adaptation can respectfully represent Native characters. And generally the answer is you can’t do it. You can’t stick close to the original storyline and do justice to Indigenous people, and you can’t just get ride of the Native characters (a form of erasure). What Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek Nation) has done is created is much more than a retelling, she’s written a new story that stands on its own. Of course the answer was to have an Indigenous person re-write the story and reclaim the narrative. I loved the two sisters who are grappling with a shift in their family structure and trying to figure out how it will change their relationship. There was a great representation in all of the Neverland characters from the Lost, the Native kids, and pirates. I appreciated the characterization of Peter Pan as the source of everyone’s problems, which is a shift I’ve seen in a couple other retelling... and honestly the only way it makes sense to me now. In terms of the writing style, I really enjoyed the use of third person narration for the book. It felt very much like we were being told a story, and the storytellers were the stars. I 1000% recommend this book to adult and middle grade readers alike. And if you are a middle school librarian get this for your library ASAP, along with all the other HeartDrum titles coming out this year. The fact that there’s a major imprint for Native kids titles is huge.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    I am a total sucker for retellings, and Sisters of the Neversea completely lived up to my expectations! I do want to mention that I have never read Peter Pan, but I have heard that a lot of the ideas in it are hurtful and wrong. Sisters of the Neversea completely reworks Peter Pan, and it shows Pan’s brutalness and cruelty in an eye opening way. Lily and Wendy are step sisters whose parents are considering separating. They’re unsure about what will happen to their family and their friendship, an I am a total sucker for retellings, and Sisters of the Neversea completely lived up to my expectations! I do want to mention that I have never read Peter Pan, but I have heard that a lot of the ideas in it are hurtful and wrong. Sisters of the Neversea completely reworks Peter Pan, and it shows Pan’s brutalness and cruelty in an eye opening way. Lily and Wendy are step sisters whose parents are considering separating. They’re unsure about what will happen to their family and their friendship, and in the midst of this uncertainty, the boy who never grows up whisks them away to Neverland. But the magic land is much darker than it seems, and Lily and Wendy might not make it out of there alive. As an Asian American girl, I know how impactful it is to see yourself in literature. That’s why even though I’m a little too old for middle grade, I can’t help but be excited when I see such diverse books. Children need to see themselves as heroes in entertainment, and I’m so happy more and more people are highlighting different characters. Sisters of the Neversea fulfills these expectations perfectly! It didn’t just showcase diverseness in ethnicity, but it also showed how family is not just blood. When Peter says all stepmothers are evil, Wendy is quick to disagree. Lily and Wendy were sisters, and they were not about to have anyone tell them otherwise. While there are so many amazing themes in here, this was a great book in itself. It had an older style with an all knowing third person narrator. There aren’t a ton of books left like this, so it was definitely a fun change. And it made it easier to follow the story without being confused. There were a lot of fun twists and turns that made this book even more interesting. And I liked how you could tell there was a history to this island. Wendy and Lily weren’t the first children to go there, and the end to those children were far darker than they could imagine. Sisters of the Neversea showed how evil Pan could be, and how messed up he was while still showing redemption. A few things to mention though is this is a little bit darker and more violent. It might be wise for parents to talk through some of the book with their children, and there is also a half spirit in the book. But this was a gorgeous book that is needed in this day and age. It shows how people that are different from us are still human, and they deserve respect and love. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants some diversity in their book diet! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    **** I received a finished copy for review from Harper Kids.Their new imprint, Heartdrum focuses on Indigenous voices in children's literature. **** Disclaimer: I have never read Peter Pan. I have only seen Disney’s version once as a kid. I don't really care about Peter Pan, because believe it or not negative representations actually make Indigenous youth feel really awful. If there's one thing baby Sasha would have wanted growing up, it's Cynthia Leitich Smith's new middle grade novel Sisters of **** I received a finished copy for review from Harper Kids.Their new imprint, Heartdrum focuses on Indigenous voices in children's literature. **** Disclaimer: I have never read Peter Pan. I have only seen Disney’s version once as a kid. I don't really care about Peter Pan, because believe it or not negative representations actually make Indigenous youth feel really awful. If there's one thing baby Sasha would have wanted growing up, it's Cynthia Leitich Smith's new middle grade novel Sisters of the Neversea. This Peter Pan retelling by the Muscogee Creek author was a joy to read. We follow Lily, a Muscogee Creek 12 year old, Wendy, white stepsister, and their brother Michael as they journey to Neverland and fight to find a way back home. This book's Native representation is literally everything. As someone who was an anxious, mature, and skeptical Ojibwe pre-teen, Smith's Lily felt like looking in a mirror even now. The "Indians" in Neverland were Native youth,  diverse as all of Indian Country is: Cherokee two-spirit, Black Seneca, Muscogee Creek, Ojibwe. What's more, these characters so effortlessly provided the perspective of Indigenous youth. Listen, sometimes it might seem overly political, too "on the nose." That doesn't make it an unrealistic representation of Native kids, who are intuitive, smart, fierce, and vocal. Native kids have to combat negative rep and horrific stereotypes every day. They learn early that they might not be considered "real Indians" or that their families will be discriminated against or that people will always want them to play a certain role,  fulfill someone else's expectations. Seeing Native characters push back against those very expectations is powerful. This is clearly a middle grade book. There are some spots that provide quick redemption or resolve some conflicts perhaps a little too easily, but I recognize this book is meant for younger readers who may not feel the same way. The pacing, the language took me a few chapters to get into mostly because I don't often read  children's literature. Still, once I picked up the rhythm, I found this absolutely charming and was deeply invested in the fantastical adventures and reunification between Lily, her little brother Mikey, and her (step)sister Wendy. If you have young readers in your life, consider getting your hands on a copy of this. It's fun, theatrical, filled with sibling love, friendship, fairies, merfolk, pirates, and a baby tiger. This might be best suited for self-guided, mature readers (10+ years) as there is discussion of death (including animals), though I think the subject matter could lend to some good conversations. CW (all contextually critiqued and shown as problematic by autho): transphobia and misgendering, racism, racial slurs against Native Americans; mentions of murder, death, animal death.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    The story of Peter Pan has always bothered me. Especially the part where he thought fighting was fun. It never made sense to me. I was also bothered by the stereotypical "injuns" in the story. I always think of the original as being strictly Victorian, but it turns out the original is much more recent than that, as the first version was written in 1904, making it part of the Edwardian era (pre world war I) The author takes all the elements that didn't work, and that were troubling, and rather tha The story of Peter Pan has always bothered me. Especially the part where he thought fighting was fun. It never made sense to me. I was also bothered by the stereotypical "injuns" in the story. I always think of the original as being strictly Victorian, but it turns out the original is much more recent than that, as the first version was written in 1904, making it part of the Edwardian era (pre world war I) The author takes all the elements that didn't work, and that were troubling, and rather than eliminating them, explores them, such as the fact that Peter doesn't really care about anyone but himself, or that the pirates want to fight him as all, or why they stay in Neverland. Wendy is still British, but has been living in the Tulsa with her blended family, as her father has married a woman who is Muscogee Creek. Lily is her step-sister (instead of being Tiger Lily, the "Indian Princess" on the Neverland Island.) John is older, and just graduated from high school, and Micheal is four years old and loves pirates. Wendy reads him Ella Enchanted, the retelling of Cinderella by Gail Carson Levine. (Apparently in the original there are a lot of fairy tales mentioned as stories that Wendy tells the Lost Boys.) Besides being racist, the original was sexist as well, which is brought out in this retelling and adressed. The author follows the writing style of the original, which was third person omnipotent, which also breaks the fourth wall all over the place. And sometimes the stars get into the story as well. It is all delightful, once you get used to it. Wonderful retelling. Highly recommend it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Meg GlitteryOtters

    4.5 stars

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenna (Falling Letters)

    Cover reveal @ We Need Diverse Books! (7 Oct. 2020) Cover reveal @ We Need Diverse Books! (7 Oct. 2020)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anik-MamaBearsBookshelf

    This was a good read and fun. It's a modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan. I'm not a fan of the Petter Pan movie and books but this one was good. I really like the cover it's pretty. I love how the story is set in the present time, I think the author did a good job. The details are awesome and make you feel like you really in the story. It certainly has the same magic as the original Petter pan. This was a good read and fun. It's a modern take of the popular classic Peter Pan. I'm not a fan of the Petter Pan movie and books but this one was good. I really like the cover it's pretty. I love how the story is set in the present time, I think the author did a good job. The details are awesome and make you feel like you really in the story. It certainly has the same magic as the original Petter pan.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Review Copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley Cynthia Leitich Smith reimagined Neverland and the adventures of Peter Pan. The original story has been problematic since it was created, but there was much about it to love. Smith has found a way to address some of the racist depictions of Indigenous folks along with a few of the gender role issues too. In this retelling, the children are from a blended family with a British father and a mother who is part of the Muscogee Creek Nation. The children are feel Review Copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley Cynthia Leitich Smith reimagined Neverland and the adventures of Peter Pan. The original story has been problematic since it was created, but there was much about it to love. Smith has found a way to address some of the racist depictions of Indigenous folks along with a few of the gender role issues too. In this retelling, the children are from a blended family with a British father and a mother who is part of the Muscogee Creek Nation. The children are feeling unsettled because of conflict between their parents and in the midst of this, Peter Pan arrives on the scene. He and Tinkerbell are very charming and appealing to Michael and Wendy, but Lily is not convinced that he is trustworthy. He uses words like Injuns which offends them all and calls them useless girls since they can't sew properly. Lily informs his that her mother is brilliant at math and managing money. I love it when Wendy informs Peter that their dad also didn't teach them how to sew. Of course the children do end up in Neverland, but it is not as carefree and lovely as Peter made it out to be. As in the original, Peter is pretty focused on himself and does not take advice or instruction well. Though he delivers on adventure, he is not concerned with the needs of the children and he has a lot of "wrongheaded" ideas about Native children. There are other children already on the island including Daniel who is Leech Lake Ojibwe from St. Paul. Through Daniel and others, readers see that Native people are still alive and that there is a great deal of variety among them. Lily and the others also appreciate their cultural identity and their family members more as time passes. Recommendation: Sisters of the Neversea is a fantastic way to visit the world of Neverland again without having to see the damaging stereotypical Natives. It is a great adventure story even for those who are unfamiliar with Peter Pan. Siblings fall out and feelings are hurt, but love is still there and of course there are fairies and merpeople along with pirates so it's going to be a crowd pleaser. This story is a lot of fun and has great representation. I plan to purchase it for my elementary school library and I believe it will be a great addition to any library serving young people.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Maralie Toth

    character Peter Pan, especially after having read the Lost Boy by Christina Henry, where it shed some light on the story behind the none villain Captain Hook. Then Secondly because this is a middle grade book and therefore really wasn't sure what I was going to, as I have not read one in a very long time, so between the reasons mentioned, I had mixed feelings but was more than willing to give this book a go, and i am rather glad that i did. My knowledge of the peter pan story runs between the Di character Peter Pan, especially after having read the Lost Boy by Christina Henry, where it shed some light on the story behind the none villain Captain Hook. Then Secondly because this is a middle grade book and therefore really wasn't sure what I was going to, as I have not read one in a very long time, so between the reasons mentioned, I had mixed feelings but was more than willing to give this book a go, and i am rather glad that i did. My knowledge of the peter pan story runs between the Disney version, Christina Henrys version, Once Upon a times version, Hook with robin williams and a really old VHS version that depicted pan as a female, and it really wasn't until i can across the darker versions of there stories and having become a parent that the idea of peter pan really did not sit overly well with me. Someone who comes into your home and takes your children away with no guarantees of them ever returning really does not sit well with me, but again going on the more positive side of things I am happy i gave this book a try. In a very similar fashion to the Disney version of the this story, the book starts off much as you would expect, with the Mr. and Mrs. Darling getting ready to go out, while their children were getting ready to turn in for the night, though there is more to the story with Wendy, John and Michael, and without giving away to many spoilers, there is a 4th child involved and John is to old for Neverland, making him the oldest, not Wendy. I liked this story because it shed a new light on the character peter pan himself and the island neverland, it actually gave a little bit of background a history to the island that I had never read before, and for those of you who have followed and listened to some of my book reviews in the past, you know that I enjoy a good back story and history to something. I found myself conflicted between not liking peter pan as a character while feeling sorry for the person he has become, due to him being a victim himself, small spoiler alert, he himself was stolen as a baby away from his parents and brought to neverland. To be fair though, if you have seen the movie Hook, you already know that, and by the same character in the movie as well, It was Belle or Tinker Belle that stole pan when he was an enfant, because fairies are drawn to young children and wanted a friend. Which in truth is how pan ended up the way that he is. So while i really did not like what he had turned into, he was not completely at fault, though at some point you do have to grow up and face the music as they say. I found that there really was more to the story in this one and it really helped keep me engaged with the story as I found myself wanting to know more and for me the best part was the found a nice gentle way of concluding the entire story, pan included. i found myself enjoying this one, between the history, the new characters and everything as a whole, and therefore would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alina Borger

    This contemporary retelling of PETER PAN starts as many versions of the story do—Peter’s shadow slips away while Wendy’s reading stories to her younger brother, Michael. But in Leitich-Smith’s version, the shadow disapproves of Peter, Michael is proud of his pirate-themed bedroom, the fairy, “Belle” adores babies & toddlers, and Wendy’s stepmother is a Creek leader at the tribal community center. That means Wendy’s step sister, Lily, is Creek too, and their brother, Michael, is biracial. Suddenl This contemporary retelling of PETER PAN starts as many versions of the story do—Peter’s shadow slips away while Wendy’s reading stories to her younger brother, Michael. But in Leitich-Smith’s version, the shadow disapproves of Peter, Michael is proud of his pirate-themed bedroom, the fairy, “Belle” adores babies & toddlers, and Wendy’s stepmother is a Creek leader at the tribal community center. That means Wendy’s step sister, Lily, is Creek too, and their brother, Michael, is biracial. Suddenly—except for merfolk—all the traditional inhabitants of Never Never Land have real names and real backstories that really, really matter. As usual, Peter kidnaps the children for his own purposes, and their quest to get back home forms the central plot of the novel. But Leitich-Smith is a master of mischief within the confines of this story. Peter’s cruelty, the disastrous impact of fairy dust, the “lost” who have forgotten themselves, and the tik-tok of an alligator who’s hungry for children all work together to create genuine menace. Luckily, Lily’s alliance with the inter-tribal group of native children, and the wisdom left to them by an elder help to save the day. …along with a trans/enby (?) pirate, Captain Smitty “Smee,” the second. The novel succeeds in making the story fresh, not only because of the details of the plot, but because there is a real respect for the complexity of all children’s identities (though clearly & especially so for native children). Everything gets an update here, and the extensive author’s note takes care to explain a lot of those choices. While I certainly felt the “fear of Peter” at points, the narrator cleverly inserts herself at *just* the moment I might have started to worry. “Are you worried that Peter might have…” she’ll ask. These interjections disperse the tension in just the right way for her tender audience to feel their fears are taken seriously—and for her older audience to chuckle. Best of all, this is not a story that wraps up tidily. Of course there is resolution, but the ambiguity of Lily and Wendy’s parents separation and the complicated nature of family—biological, adoptive, and chosen—is offered open-handedly. With love. Highly recommend for lovers of Middle Grade, fans of Peter Pan, and those who’ve asked, like Leitich-Smith did, “Where did the native children on the island come from? What tribe are they from? Were they stolen? Do their families miss them?” — 🎙The audio book is excellent! Both my 12 year old and my 14 year old listened happily, despite being MUCH older than the intended audience.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    4.5 stars, rounded up because this book deserves it. I've always loved stories about Neverland and Peter Pan, and this book took me back the world I loved while also examining and correcting problematic areas of the original story. The author did an incredible job at deepening the world and making it clear that there is a whole culture on Neverland that exists separately from the drama of Peter Pan, which is a theme throughout the entire book in regards to almost every character. The cast is ful 4.5 stars, rounded up because this book deserves it. I've always loved stories about Neverland and Peter Pan, and this book took me back the world I loved while also examining and correcting problematic areas of the original story. The author did an incredible job at deepening the world and making it clear that there is a whole culture on Neverland that exists separately from the drama of Peter Pan, which is a theme throughout the entire book in regards to almost every character. The cast is full of diverse, well rounded people from many different backgrounds, and the author takes time to ensure that the reader feels the weight of their experiences and culture behind them. The author also does an amazing job at examining the effects that being abducted to an island that you can never leave would have on someone, and it made the book realistic in a way that no other Peter Pan book has been for me. The full impact of Peter's actions and the repercussions on the people and area around him were made very clear which kept me glued to the pages with horrified fascination and sadness and hope that it would all end well. There was a difference in tones at time, where some conflicts/traumatic events were given a lot of depth and examination while others resolved too quickly, leading to a less satisfying resolution than I was hoping for. Nothing worth passing this book over for, just weird pacing at times. It seemed to me that the author had a strong grasp on the underlying world and themes in this story and wasn't given the chance to fully bloom because of the limits of the age range that this book is aimed towards. All in all, an amazing book and one that I highly recommend!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dianna

    Perhaps if I was able to push myself further into the story, it would have finally gotten good. I thought that the idea of the story was great and was really looking forward to it, but it just didn't hold my attention. I pushed myself to read the first several chapters because sometimes books start slow, but get better as they go. However, after reading about 10% of the book, I was still having to force myself to read it and I just don't have time to go any further. I loved the idea of stepsiste Perhaps if I was able to push myself further into the story, it would have finally gotten good. I thought that the idea of the story was great and was really looking forward to it, but it just didn't hold my attention. I pushed myself to read the first several chapters because sometimes books start slow, but get better as they go. However, after reading about 10% of the book, I was still having to force myself to read it and I just don't have time to go any further. I loved the idea of stepsisters and a blended multicultural family. Some of the changes I didn't understand. Why was John not Wendy's brother and why was he older than Wendy? Why keep him in the story at all if you were going to change who he was? So that wasn't a big deal, I could have overlooked that, but the story was so slow up to this point. I feel like there was too much expository writing. I feel like there was too much for a middle grade book, but the characters were too immature for it to be a young adult book. The final thing that I didn't like was Lily. Perhaps she gets better as the story goes on, but up to this point in the story I really disliked her character. So for all of those reasons, I do not recommend this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Animated bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPwQvmYj1... The original story of Peter Pan was never my favorite, but hereby dub Cynthia Leitich Smith’s SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, the amazing, new classic! I adored this contemporary retelling of the blended family siblings’ adventures in Neverland. This exciting fantasy alternates perspectives of Lily, who is Muscogee Creek, and Wendy, who is white, English-born, as they try to make their way back home with their brother Michael after a peculia Animated bookstagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPwQvmYj1... The original story of Peter Pan was never my favorite, but hereby dub Cynthia Leitich Smith’s SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA, the amazing, new classic! I adored this contemporary retelling of the blended family siblings’ adventures in Neverland. This exciting fantasy alternates perspectives of Lily, who is Muscogee Creek, and Wendy, who is white, English-born, as they try to make their way back home with their brother Michael after a peculiar visit from Peter Pan and Bell. It is a page-turner regardless of how familiar you are with the original story and I found my heart racing multiple times with vivid imagery and world-building and cliffhanger-ending chapters. I’m singing the praises of own voices author Cynthia Leitich Smith as she reworks and educates the problematic language and treatment of Indigenous peoples from the original and gives them the spotlight in her story that also sheds light on anxiety, sexism, and ecological themes. A captivating, heartfelt journey of hope and unwavering love of family, SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA will enchant and entertain.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Yapha

    This reimagining of the Peter Pan story is fantastic! It is a great story in and of itself, and it also manages to call out all of the misogynistic, anti-Native, pro-colonialism themes in JM Barrie's original story. Lily is Creek and her stepsister Wendy is white. Wendy and their brother Michael set off for Neverland with Peter Pan and the fairy Belle. Lily follows soon after with Peter's Shadow, which was not successfully reattached. They both have very different experiences upon landing -- Wen This reimagining of the Peter Pan story is fantastic! It is a great story in and of itself, and it also manages to call out all of the misogynistic, anti-Native, pro-colonialism themes in JM Barrie's original story. Lily is Creek and her stepsister Wendy is white. Wendy and their brother Michael set off for Neverland with Peter Pan and the fairy Belle. Lily follows soon after with Peter's Shadow, which was not successfully reattached. They both have very different experiences upon landing -- Wendy with the Lost Boys and Lily with the Native kids. I highly recommended this version for both those who love the original story of Peter Pan and for those who despise it. It definitely contains food for though as well as an excellent adventure. For grades 4 & up. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

  21. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    I never cared much for the traditional story of Peter Pan, the descriptions of some of its Native characters were very problematic. So it was quite refreshing to read Sisters of the Neversea by @cynthialeitichsmith and her reimagined world of Neverland. I instantly warmed when reading that two of the main characters were Native of the Muskogee Creek nation. Smith challenges the original terms of “injuns” and calls it and Peter Pan out as disrespectful, also weaving in villainous colonial ideas o I never cared much for the traditional story of Peter Pan, the descriptions of some of its Native characters were very problematic. So it was quite refreshing to read Sisters of the Neversea by @cynthialeitichsmith and her reimagined world of Neverland. I instantly warmed when reading that two of the main characters were Native of the Muskogee Creek nation. Smith challenges the original terms of “injuns” and calls it and Peter Pan out as disrespectful, also weaving in villainous colonial ideas of ethnic erasure. This children’s book does a beautiful job of turning the POV and magnifying the problematic character of Peter Pan, and maybe he isn’t the hero he loudly claims himself to be. I loved it. This story needed to be told from an Indigenous point of view. Thank you!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

    Sisters of the Neversea has so many facets to love. Among my favorite aspects: the resonance of J.M. Barrie’s original magic and language; how the indigenous characters are true to themselves, their cultural values, and each other; the tough questions it presents for readers to wrestle with; and the thread of girl-power tying it all together. Decades ago, when my son was a boy, we read and reread Peter and Wendy. Even then, it was a beautiful lyrical classic, problematic in glaring ways. I’m so Sisters of the Neversea has so many facets to love. Among my favorite aspects: the resonance of J.M. Barrie’s original magic and language; how the indigenous characters are true to themselves, their cultural values, and each other; the tough questions it presents for readers to wrestle with; and the thread of girl-power tying it all together. Decades ago, when my son was a boy, we read and reread Peter and Wendy. Even then, it was a beautiful lyrical classic, problematic in glaring ways. I’m so grateful to Cynthia Leitich Smith for re-envisioning this beloved tale into something even better, keeping alive the original magic while simultaneously respecting the gifts and humanity of all of the characters. I can’t wait to share Sisters of the Neversea with my savvy 21st century readers!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Peter Pan is one of those books that just seems to spawn endless remixes. And why not? Pirates, mermaids, fairies . . . and the enchanting possibility of never having to grow up . . . in many ways, it feels like a timeless masterpiece. And yet, there's a lot in it that's cringeworthy, too. Misogyny. Sexism. And perhaps most egregious, hurtful and stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans. Smith's book takes the best of Peter Pan and delights readers with its wonder and magic, while gently (bu Peter Pan is one of those books that just seems to spawn endless remixes. And why not? Pirates, mermaids, fairies . . . and the enchanting possibility of never having to grow up . . . in many ways, it feels like a timeless masterpiece. And yet, there's a lot in it that's cringeworthy, too. Misogyny. Sexism. And perhaps most egregious, hurtful and stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans. Smith's book takes the best of Peter Pan and delights readers with its wonder and magic, while gently (but firmly!) shining a light on Neverland's (and Peter Pan's) significant flaws. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Macy Davis

    I was really intrigued by the choices that Cynthia Leitich Smith to update the original Peter Pan story, particularly the lore surrounding the appearance of Native peoples in Neverland. Lily and Wendy were both fun characters to follow, and this story was actually a lot darker than I originally anticipated. I'm still grappling with the narrative choices that were made, including the voice of the third-person narrator that routinely broke the 4th wall. The ambiguity of the ending works well, but I was really intrigued by the choices that Cynthia Leitich Smith to update the original Peter Pan story, particularly the lore surrounding the appearance of Native peoples in Neverland. Lily and Wendy were both fun characters to follow, and this story was actually a lot darker than I originally anticipated. I'm still grappling with the narrative choices that were made, including the voice of the third-person narrator that routinely broke the 4th wall. The ambiguity of the ending works well, but I also wanted a little more closure. Overall, this was a quick retelling that prompted a lot of thinking considering how short it actually is

  25. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Whipple

    This retelling of Peter Pan focuses on step sisters Wendy (white, English) and Lily (Muscogee Creek) and their little brother Michael. The three meet Peter one night, and Wendy and Michael are enchanted by his magic and personality so they follow him on a wimsical flight through the nightime sky all the way to Neverland. Besides the normal perils of Neveland, like pirates and ticking crocodiles and enigmatic Merfolk, the siblings discover ignorant and hurtful language and beliefs that they seek This retelling of Peter Pan focuses on step sisters Wendy (white, English) and Lily (Muscogee Creek) and their little brother Michael. The three meet Peter one night, and Wendy and Michael are enchanted by his magic and personality so they follow him on a wimsical flight through the nightime sky all the way to Neverland. Besides the normal perils of Neveland, like pirates and ticking crocodiles and enigmatic Merfolk, the siblings discover ignorant and hurtful language and beliefs that they seek to change. Gr. 3+

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jazz

    I wanted to love this, but it lost me at so many points. Lily and Wendy act like tiny adults rather than kids, many of the moments that should be emotional turning points are summarized rather than shown, the characters are underdrawn and often indistinguishable from one another. This could have been an amazing story that thoroughly explored colonization, the kidnapping of Native children, destruction of wildlife, and the violence of constructing identity based on racist tropes. Unfortunately, S I wanted to love this, but it lost me at so many points. Lily and Wendy act like tiny adults rather than kids, many of the moments that should be emotional turning points are summarized rather than shown, the characters are underdrawn and often indistinguishable from one another. This could have been an amazing story that thoroughly explored colonization, the kidnapping of Native children, destruction of wildlife, and the violence of constructing identity based on racist tropes. Unfortunately, Sisters of the Neversea is a surface reading of these things.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cheriee Weichel

    This modern version of Peter Pan addresses the misogyny and racism of the original version. Two step sisters, one of them Native American, and their four year old brother are tricked into visiting Neverland. They don't realize they can't leave until they arrive. What I admired most about this retelling is the richness of characters. I also liked that the ending is ambiguous but hopeful. This modern version of Peter Pan addresses the misogyny and racism of the original version. Two step sisters, one of them Native American, and their four year old brother are tricked into visiting Neverland. They don't realize they can't leave until they arrive. What I admired most about this retelling is the richness of characters. I also liked that the ending is ambiguous but hopeful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    3 and 3/4 stars, rounded up. there was much I really liked about the book (family bonds, including found family, in particular, and the stripping of rascism etc from Peter Pan the book/movie) but the way the story was told, with authorial intrusions and shifting snippets of different points of view, isn't my favorite style. 3 and 3/4 stars, rounded up. there was much I really liked about the book (family bonds, including found family, in particular, and the stripping of rascism etc from Peter Pan the book/movie) but the way the story was told, with authorial intrusions and shifting snippets of different points of view, isn't my favorite style.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This is an updated version of the Peter Pan story, but I have never read that, and only remember reading a picture book version as a child. I love this author's storytelling, and I definitely enjoyed this journey to Neverland. EARC provided by Edelweiss Plus This is an updated version of the Peter Pan story, but I have never read that, and only remember reading a picture book version as a child. I love this author's storytelling, and I definitely enjoyed this journey to Neverland.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Great Books

    You won’t want to miss this contemporary reimagining of Peter Pan - it is sure to be a new classic! This story of family and friendship, facing your fears, and finding redemption prioritizes a focus on girls and women, Native peoples, and the environment. The voice of a sardonic omniscient narrator guides readers through grave perils and great triumphs in the fantastically beautiful and dangerous Neverland. Reviewer 19

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