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Peter Pan by J.M. Barry – Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Peter Pan Book CoverOur story begins on a nursery windowsill at a house in London, England. There, we meet a girl who adores her mother and cannot wait to grow up, and a boy who fears adulthood and responsibility so choses to forever be a child. Peter Pan is a magical tale which highlights the importance of youth and a mother’s love for her children by bringing the reader on an adventure within a fantasy world only present in our dreams. I found the story to be very playful and mischievous but after researching the reason as to why J. M. Barrie had written this magnificent tale, I found the classic novel to be touching, emotional and very heartwarming.

Most authors, when they approach the “girl meets guy who changes her life forever” scenario turn the story into a romance novel and in a way, Barrie had written a romance novel, just not in the same context as modern (and a few classical) authors. When Peter met Wendy, he was drawn to her because of her motherly characteristics and only viewed Wendy as a motherly figure; whereas, when Wendy met Peter she had found her first love. After all, who could resist Peter’s irresistible mischievous and boy-like charm? I myself confess guilt of falling in love with Peter. However, romantic love to Peter indicated a sign of growing up and was therefore unheard of, so the “Peter and Wendy” ship could never set sail. The fact that Barrie did not focus heavily on romantic interests throughout the novel and twisted the feelings of the characters to represent a deeper meaning, made the classic novel very memorable.

Barrie had lost his older brother at a young age to an ice-skating accident and as a result his mother was devastated. To help her cope with the loss of her child, Barrie had worn his deceased older brother’s clothes and acted the way his brother had to ensure that his brother was not entirely lost to his mother. Barrie’s mother found this very comforting as she understood Barrie’s actions as a way of saying that his brother would forever remain a child in the hearts and dreams of the family and those who loved him. It was from this belief that Neverland, the majestic fantasy world only present in the dreams of the youth and Peter Pan, the boy who could fly and the boy who never grew up, was born. I admire deeply how Barrie was able to find inspiration out of devastating events in his own life to create a classical story which will forever be appreciated and remembered.

If you enjoy reading books like Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie, a few other books you might enjoy include: Alice' Adventures in Wonderland and The Little White Horse. For further information on the book Peter Pan and the author, you can visit the following link: http://www.jmbarrie.co.uk/. To watch a trailer of a movie based on the book, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3uZDsnwdYg. Peter Pan is available at the Halifax Public Libraries. 


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