Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth

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9780060002220: Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth

With his long black curls, a shadowy family tree, and an affinity for pet spiders, James Matthew bears little resemblance to his starched-collar, blue-blooded peers at Eton. Dubbed King Jas., he stops at nothing to become the most notorious underclassman in the prestigious school's history. For James, sword fighting, falling in love with an Ottoman Sultana, and challenging the Queen of England are all in a day's skullduggery. But when he sets sail on a ship with a mysterious mission, King Jas.' dream of discovering a magical island quickly turns into an unimaginable nightmare.

Screenwriter J. V. Hart traces the evolution of J. M. Barrie's classic villain from an eccentric outcast to the scourge of Neverland.

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About the Author:

J.V. Hart has written the screenplays for several feature films, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Hook, Tuck Everlasting, Contact and Muppet Treasure Island. He lives in New York with his wife. His son and daughter are both writers and directors in theater and film. Capt. Hook is his first novel. In the spirit of the Peter Pan charitable legacy, a portion of the author’s royalties will go to the Peter Pan Children’s Fund, an organization that supports children’s hospitals through philanthropy programs.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 6 Up–Opening with young James's arrival at Eton and following him to the beginning of his life at sea, this is a disturbing and engaging portrait of a young villain. At school, he feuds with the young Arthur Darling and falls in love with the forbidden Sultana Ananova. After taking his revenge on Darling and pursuing Ananova, James and his friend Roger join the crew of the Sea Witch, a ragged ship with a cruel captain. When its identity as a slave ship is revealed, James sides with the slaves to earn his own name, Hook. Throughout the story, his dreams of finding a magical Neverland set the stage for his future role in Barrie's classic story. Hart, whose screenwriting credits include the movie Hook, has taken information from Barrie's Peter Pan, including his protagonist's attendance at Eton, his yellow blood, and his unusual appearance, and used it to create a character of his own. James's illegitimate status and its prominence in the story seems to be Hart's own invention, and while it provides ample motivation for James's actions, it takes away from the story's appeal to younger Peter Pan fans, who may also be confused by some aspects of British school life. This is a much darker Pan prequel than Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the Starcatchers (Hyperion, 2004). Helquist's illustrations add slightly to the text, but seem an attempt to appeal to Unfortunate Events fans. Overall, this is a detailed look both at Victorian life and what a young Hook may have been like.–Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
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