In early November, I read Sisters of the Neversea, by Cynthia Leitich Smith. It is wonderful!! It is a modern version of Peter Pan with two sisters in a blended family as the heroines. Lily, one of the sisters, is Muscogee Creek and Wendy, the other sister, is from England. They share a half brother, Michael. I loved the perspectives and modern day twist on the traditional Peter Pan story which needs a critical review by teachers and readers today. I knew instantly that I needed to share this book with two of my former 4th graders who I felt would love this story. I gave each of them a copy and they were eager to read the book. As the holiday break approached both students were deep into the novel but not quite finished. These are their thoughts and questions so far:
“I really don’t like Peter Pan. He is so stuck up and he makes himself look like the hero even though he is not. I also really can’t wait for Lily to get back to Wendy and Michael. I think that the pirates will be a big part of the story. I think the author has given hints to let us know this, like the silk ribbons on the trees and the fact that Michael loves pirates.”
“I’m wondering if Peter Pan is the villain because on page 50 it says the trip to Neverland was a trap and that Wendy and Michael were the bait.”
I am excited to find out what they have to say about this book when I see them in January. What will they think about the importance of one of the main characters being Muscogee Creek and how this perspective is vital in the telling of the story? Will they want to read the original Peter Pan? Will they share it with other students? What will our discussion be like? Go get yourself a copy of Sisters of the Neversea, you will not be disappointed.
To be continued…