Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!
Here's one thing I love about being a teacher: the constant sense of nostalgia. When I see a student come in with Nancy Drew in hand for the first time, or can chat with another about our shared love for Disney princesses (and for Belle in particular), it makes my heart happy. Childhood is a precious season of life, and my theory is that when we can return to that season through books, we experience a state of contentment. When the team at Scribner books sent me this title, I just knew that it would be a return to a world that I loved as a young reader. I am so excited to share it with you all today because this story had me completely charmed. Hook's Tale is a new take on an old villain -- a redemption story, if you will, and written for the adults who wish they could go back to experience the world of Neverland all over again. It's written from the first-person perspective of Captain Hook himself, who left behind an extensive diary detailing the real story behind the events that were terribly skewed by the writer whom Hook refers to only as "that Scotsman." In it, we meet Hook as a young boy -- back then, he went by his given name, James Cook, and learn about the sorry circumstances of his teenage years.
Appearances are made by some of the major players in Peter Pan, including Tiger Lily, Peter, Wendy, and (my favorite character), Smee. I absolutely loved how Pielmeier (the "editor" of Hook's diaries), took these beloved characters and this world and turned them completely upside down. A lot of what made this reading experience fun was seeing the characters and scenes pop up in unexpected ways, and even though there was a great deal of sorrow in Hook's life, this was one of those books that I hugged (yes, literally) after finishing. If you're a fan of the original, you might want to add this to your list. (And just a warning, for those who might want to pass it along to younger readers. This is most certainly a tale for adults. Not recommended for anyone under the YA age bracket, despite it's nostalgic tendencies.)
Bottom-Line Rating: 5/5
Title: Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself
Author: John Leonard Pielmeier
Publisher: Scribner Books, 2017
Price: $17 on Amazon
Source: Scribner Books