The Bridge to Never Land by Dave Barry is one of the Reading Kingdom’s preferred adventure stories for kids. Melissa Gaynor explains why:
What You Need to Know:
• A teenage brother and sister become believers when they discover a gold box filled with stardust.
• There are many references to Peter Pan and Pearson and Barry’s The Starcatchers Series, so some knowledge of these stories would be helpful, although not necessary.
• The kids lie to their parents and the police in order to continue on their adventure. They also reveal that they both have gmail accounts that they’ve kept secret from their parents.
• The characters make use of many modern-day conveniences like ipads, gmail, craig’s list, facebook, googlemaps, twitter and of course, Starbucks.
• The main characters are in their teens, but they could just as easily be tweens based on much of their behavior.
• There is some violence and fighting but it is very limited and the injuries are minimal.
In The Bridge to Neverland, brother and sister, Aidan and Sarah, discover that fictional literary characters and events actually exist in the real world. It’s a concept that most kids have probably imagined or hoped for, and readers are sure to find it very intriguing. In this case, 15 year-old Aidan and 17 year-old Sarah find a cryptic note in a concealed desk drawer. The name on the note, Magill, is familiar, and Sarah realizes that he is a character from the Starcatcher series. They somehow decipher the hidden message and figure out that the note is directing them to a street in London. Since they are, conveniently, soon to be spending some time in London on a family vacation, they (well, mostly Sarah) decide to pursue the mystery.
The note leads them to a gold box with a warning to “Use it wisely, or leave it be. Use it wrong, and death to thee.” Sarah, playing the role of the bossy older sister, convinces Aidan that they should open it anyway. Like Pandora’s box, opening this gold treasure releases magical “starstuff” but also unleashes an evil force called Ombra. Sarah doesn’t want to give up the intoxicating “starstuff”, which makes them feel good and enables them to fly, despite the fact that using it invokes the anger of this sinister creature that takes his form from hundreds of bone-chilling ravens. She refuses to tell their parents or the police and sneaks the box back to their home in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Aidan and Sarah, the ravens come too – a lot of them.”
Have your children read The Bridge to Never Land? What did they think of the book?
If you’re interested in elementary reading programs, check out the Reading Kingdom. It’s our award-winning, fun, easy-to-use online program that teaches children 4-10 years old how to read and write to a third grade level. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial, risk free!