Peter Pan’s Story first came to life in 1860 by J.M. Barrie in Scotland and has been well received by the world masses. First produced and played in the theatre in 1904, the visual launched the beginning of the Lost Boy era of retellings in both literature and the stage. The latest adaptation, Peter Pan and Wendy, was just released on April 28th, and it doesn’t disappoint.
Since the original release by Barrie, there have been nearly 100 novel retellings of Pan and Wendy’s story. From the children’s aisle to the adult romance aisle and everything in between, your local bookstore will have a Pan reimagining to quince your literary thirst. I’ve combed through the list, especially those I’ve read and loved, and present them to you here.
Children’s Retellings of Peter Pan
Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean
This middle-grade book is an authorized sequel to Barrie’s original Peter Pan. The Lost Boys are grown up and living the lives of the adults they never wanted to be. Neverland begins to leak nightmares into the sleeping adults, pirate paraphernalia magically appearing under their pillows when they awake. When a crocodile appears, Wendy and the former Lost Boys realize something is terribly wrong in Neverland and rush to Pan’s side.
What happens when they arrive only to forget their mission in lieu of reminiscing about their lost childhood adventures? Pan takes up Hook’s helm, a treasure hunt ensues, and perhaps his carefree life might change to one of responsibility.
- Peter and the Starcatchers-Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is a duology that tells the origins of Peter Pan, the orphan sold into slavery.
- Straight On Till Morning by Liz Braswell, a Disney Twisted Tale, changes how Wendy ended up in Never Land and brings Wendy and Tink together to save Pan.
Young Adult Peter Pan Retellings
Dust by Kara Swanson
This YA novel leaves Wendy in the past and introduces Claire, a girl who doesn’t believe the world is good. Searching for her kidnapped twin leads her to London and into the path of Peter Pan, the boy who refuses to grow up. Unfortunately, Pan is stuck, desperately trying to get back to Neverland and out of the clutches of his Lost Boys, who seek to destroy him. Claire may just be the key Pan needs to save his faltering Neverland. With many references to the original, Dust seeks to pick up the mantle of the classic and yet carve a new path.
Never, Never by Brianna Shrum
This story isn’t about Peter; it’s about Captain Hook, and it’s just as dark as you’d imagine based on the original. Hook wanted nothing but to be an adult, but upon meeting Pan, he thought to give childhood a try on Neverland. What was meant to be a short vacation becomes Hook’s prison. Realizing he wants to go home and become the adult he imagined, he finds himself stuck on an island he desperately wants to leave as Pan refuses to take him home. Shrum highlights Pan’s dark and twisted nature, makes the reader empathize with the so-called villain, and reimagines all your favorite characters.
- Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas reimagines Pan’s story rooted in the Pacific Northwest woods as children go missing and Peter begs Wendy for help.
- Forever Neverland by Heather Killough-Walden brings Wendy back to Neverland after years of psychiatric therapy by the adults who disbelieve her tale.
Adult Peter Pan Retellings
The Never King by Nikki St. Crowe
If the cover wasn’t an indication, let me tell you, this is one dark spicy retelling, and Peter is no longer a boy. This four-book, why-choose romance series is an enemies-to-lovers reimagining of the Pan and Wendy story, unlike anything I’ve read before. All the Darling women have disappeared on their 18th birthday for over two hundred years. When they return, they’re never the same, forever broken.
When it’s Winnie’s turn, she’s terrified, her mother having warned her for years and trying to protect her as best she could. But when Peter Pan wants you, there’s nothing that will stop him. Only a Darling woman can help him find what he’s most desperate to find, but what happens when this Darling is like nothing Pan’s seen before? Check the TWs prior to reading.
Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
This beautifully romantic adult fairy tale reimagines the Lost Boys as vicious warriors in a neverending war against Captain Hook, a suave intelligent privateer. Stella unwittingly finds herself in Neverland, hooked by the captain, and attempting to break the curse laid upon him. Can she outrun Pan and his followers and save her villain, or will she become another one of Neverland’s cursed victims?
- Far From Neverland by Rylee Hale is a MM romance between Hook and Pan in a crumbling Neverland.
- Wendy, Darling: A Fae Peter Pan Romance by Rebecca F. Kenney is a spicy duology that ends in a HEA in book 2. Check the TWs and CWs on this one.
- The Lost Darling by Bailey Black is a dark romance retelling with a sarcastic heroine and deliciously delectable Peter Pan.
- Hooked by Emily McIntire is a dark romance where the villain gets the girl. Wendy is Peter’s daughter, and James wants to seduce then use her against her father until everything changes.
Whether you prefer the fun-loving, carefree Peter Pan or the malicious ill-intentioned Pan, there are never too many retellings for your tastes to be sated. Let us know what kind of Peter Pan reimagining you prefer.
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