Book Review: Everland


Photo by Scholastic Corp.

This is the cover for Everland by Wendy Spinale. The book was written in 2016 and published by Scholastic Corporation.

Marlee Sorrells, Editor-in-Chief

Everland is a dystopian retelling of Peter Pan written by Wendy Spinale. It’s much more lighthearted than the original story created by J.M. Barrie, since it doesn’t deal directly with death, instead it’s more of an obscure factor that’s only dealt with in a general sense. In it, a disease has taken over the world, much like the coronavirus, however only affects the adult population. The three children that represent the Darling’s have spent the past few months living in their deteriorating apartment and scavenging for food in neighboring cities. The Peter and Tinkerbell stand-ins are met during a scavenge when Hook’s men are raiding the city, hunting for a girl who is immune to the disease. One of the Darling’s is kidnapped from their apartment during this raid and with the help of the Lost Boys, Peter, and Tinkerbell, the Darling’s go on an adventure to save their sister.

       For a middle-grade novel, this was really well written and captivating to say the least. With the strong foundation already set in place by Disney’s adaptation of Peter Pan, Wendy Spinale didn’t have to try all that hard to create characters with their own voices and personalities. She also made the themes far less violent and dark from the original story, just like Disney did, but created her own dystopian twist. With untrained children that have been out of school for years being able to temporarily treat an incurable disease, the fantastical elements are not lost in the bittersweet tone of the book. There was enough of an ending to the book that a person could read the book as a stand-alone, but there are three other books in the series, a prequel, Lost Boy, and two sequels, Umberland and Ozland. Each book, except for Lost Boy. Each book is a retelling of another iconic story, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz with its own distinctive twist to generate new interest into the book.

       Considering that this book had been written for kids 8-12, I did really enjoy the writing style and fresh life brought into the story that has been retold for over 100 years. I’d give this book 3.5/5 stars because of the slow elements in the book and the awkward dialogue at times, but the overall enjoyable plot and characters.