Sisters of the Neversea

by Cynthia L Smith (Author)

Sisters of the Neversea
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

In this beautifully reimagined story by NSK Neustadt Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek), Native American Lily and English 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, to a sea of merfolk, pirates, and a giant crocodile.

A boy who calls himself Peter Pan.

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Starred Review
While Smith wields Barrie's storyteller voice, writing from a head-hopping omniscient voice that addresses readers directly, this is less a retelling and more a rebuttal, critiquing the problematic aspects of the classic--often quite overtly--and the consequences of such harmful influences are explored over the course of much action, adventure, and magical island exploration. An exciting journey in its own right and a necessary "recommend-along" for patrons seeking Barrie's original.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Centering a mixed Creek and British family in this Peter Pan reboot, Muscogee (Creek) author Smith's (Hearts Unbroken) smart novel follows two stepsisters on an adventure to Neverland. Twelve-year-old stepsisters Lily and Wendy have lived in Oklahoma since Lily's mother, a Creek citizen, married Wendy's British widower father. But Wendy's father has taken a job in New York, the girls' friendship is in disrepair over Lily's unwillingness to tackle her fear of flying and make the trip, and it seems that the family will break apart. Enter Peter Pan, looking for his shadow and enticing Wendy and her four-year-old brother Michael to fly to Neverland. Lily follows shortly after, soon learning that Peter has changed from a boy who didn't want to grow up into a brutal monster--one who kidnaps children, slays animals and humans alike, and mistreats his fairy companion, Belle. Lily and Wendy plan their escape, try to reconcile, and wonder if Peter might be redeemable after all. A sharp, contemporary retelling of a classic that puts the focus on the Indigenous kids this round. Ages 8-12. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (June)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
June 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV011040 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Native American
JUV006000 - Juvenile Fiction | Business, Careers, Occupations
JUV012040 - Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore | Adaptations
JUV031030 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Film
Library of Congress categories

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