The best books about Captain Hook

4 authors have picked their favorite books about Captain Hook and why they recommend each book.

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Peter and Wendy

By James Matthew Barrie,

Book cover of Peter and Wendy

The spirit of Peter Pan is something I’ve always admired since I first remember seeing the 1953 Disney film as a boy, and then later reading JM Barrie’s classic novel in young adulthood. He’s a boy that lives every day for adventure, and I feel that is a great way to approach life. The quality of the writing is both poetic and dark for a children’s story, and explores themes that are still relevant today, such as freedom, choice, power, and the innate human desire to overcome circumstances and break free from limiting beliefs. It’s such an incredible world and character, and has greatly inspired my life and career. I love it!


Who am I?

Ever since I was a boy I was always fascinated by the tale of Peter Pan. His adventurous, rebellious personality, his self-assuredness, and his ability to fly made him the perfect role model for a young boy that wanted the most out of his life. As I’ve moved through the world, I’ve found I’ve subconsciously carried Peter’s spirit with me, both in my career and in life. By entering the entertainment industry as a full-time writer, actor, and filmmaker, I feel I’ve come as close as I can to making a life out of play, storytelling, and adventure. 


I wrote...

Son of Neverland

By Cal R. Barnes, Adrian Doan Kim (illustrator),

Book cover of Son of Neverland

What is my book about?

Neverland. Evolved. One hundred years after the fall of Captain Hook, a vengeful explorer seeks the council of a dark god to retake Neverland, and there’s only one boy who has the power to stop them.

But Peter’s not alone. He has his battle angel, Tinker Bell, and his lover, Princess Tiger Lily by his side. The lost boys and tribal warriors also support him on his quest to save Neverland from its doomsday. Will the eternal paradise of Neverland survive the darkness of Time itself? Only one god will remain to tell the tale.

Lost Boy

By Christina Henry,

Book cover of Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

I will unashamedly tell anyone I meet that I am obsessed with Peter Pan. I wished I’d written it myself and will one day write a retelling. Because, honestly, sometimes the retelling is better. When Peter is darker, when Neverland is madness… or more so than it already is.

Lost Boy was not what I expected. The ending got me hard and I’m completely obsessed with this book. I don’t even want to explain anymore. Just please read it. 

Most of us are familiar with the original story thanks to the cartoon movie, but if you haven’t yet read the original book, I highly recommend that because it is a lot darker than you might think. I remember being blown away by it when I finally read it as an adult. 

And then you can go on an obsessive read-a-thon of all retellings, starting with the magnificent Lost Boy


Who am I?

I’ve been writing since before I can remember and my stories always edge towards darkness. If darkness is a cliff-face, I stand precariously on the edge, taking my readers with me and maybe… eventually… giving them a little shove. Sorry, not sorry. As a writer of dark YA fantasy, it is both my duty and privilege to read as many dark fantasy stories as possible. My series, The Relic Trilogy, isn’t all sunshine and happiness. Whenever I see a review where the reader admits they ended up in a puddle of their own tears, I celebrate because that is precisely what I’m here for folks. 


I wrote...

Relic

By Bronwyn Eley,

Book cover of Relic

What is my book about?

In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow. As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place. It’s an appointment that will kill her. As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.

Doctor Dogbody's Leg (Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series)

By James N. Hall,

Book cover of Doctor Dogbody's Leg (Heart of Oak Sea Classics Series)

This book is about neither pirates nor children, but it belongs on a list about pirates and children nonetheless. It’s certainly a book that children aged eight to eighty (or older) can enjoy, and because the protagonist is a one-legged seaman (Doctor Dogbody) who embodies the spirit of a one-legged pirate (Long John Silver) and a one-handed pirate (Captain James Hook) it deserves mention. Doctor Dogbody is a ship’s surgeon who likes his tipple, and when he’s drained his pint (or two or three) he is happy to tell the tale of how he lost his leg. And every time he tells the tale it’s a completely different saga, each saga more preposterous than the last. This is a laugh-out-loud book which I first discovered via the recommendation of a mountaineer, who would read each chapter aloud to his tent-mates at night while marooned in a snowstorm on the…


Who am I?

Peter Pan was the first book I remember being read to me when I was four. At the age of thirty-two, I discovered the real J.M. Barrie. I read everything I could of Barrie’s and even wrote a one-person play about him. This led me to discover R.L. Stevenson, Treasure Island, and the world of (fictional) pirates. On a visit my wife and I made to Robinson Crusoe Island, I came to believe (through deductive logic and vivid imagination) that this was the three-dimensional embodiment of Neverland. Barrie always envisioned himself as Hook, and though I longed to be Peter, I fear that my soul was a pirate’s soul. Hence Hook’s Tale. 


I wrote...

Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

By John Leonard Pielmeier,

Book cover of Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

What is my book about?

The subtitle says it all. Hook’s Tale concerns the autobiographical adventures of a 14-year-old boy (and later infamous pirate) in search of his lost father. He discovers a treasure map left to him by his missing parent which leads him to a mysterious archipelago where people do not age and from which there appears to be no escape. There he befriends a marooned buccaneer with a scythe, adopts a baby crocodile he names Daisy, and encounters a boy named Peter who has no understanding of Time. He battles monsters, falls in love with a princess, loses a hand, and eventually discovers the unexpected treasure hidden in this astonishing place. Eventually, he comes to understand the importance of growing up, growing old, and accepting mortality. 

Hook's Tale

By John Leonard Pielmeier,

Book cover of Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

Growing up, I was always more intrigued by Captain Hook, the villain of Peter Pan, more so than I was the title character. John Leonard Pielmeier writes an incredible “memoir” from the most famous fictional pirate and uses the beloved characters from the Peter Pan story of our childhoods in a whole new way. The backstory with Smee, the conflict with the infamous crocodile, and all the major things we see in the classic story are told in a whole new way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend reading in tandem with the original Peter Pan for a fun way to see two sides to a story.


Who am I?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.


I wrote...

Squall Line

By Gwyn McNamee,

Book cover of Squall Line

What is my book about?

Warwick “War” Pike is the captain and leader of a crew of modern pirates who operate on the Great Lakes and work for the Italian mob in Chicago. War doesn’t have rules for his crew—lie, maim, steal, do whatever it takes. Except take hostages. When the crew tries to take a cargo vessel on Lake Michigan, he ends up on the wrong end of a shotgun held by the beautiful and feisty redheaded captain—Grace Albright. When War realizes Grace has alerted the Coast Guard, he’s forced to take her with them. Now that Grace is deep in their lair, she’s starting to realize all is not as it appears. Warwick isn’t just a barbaric criminal; there’s something more underneath the surface. Now, her life isn’t the only thing in danger. So is her heart.

Hook's Revenge

By Heidi Schulz, John Hendrix (illustrator),

Book cover of Hook's Revenge

Okay, I cheated with this one. It’s a Middle-Grade book and not a Young Adult book. But it’s a list about pirates! You should’ve expected a little bit of cheating going on. And I had to include this one because of the voice. It’s told by a narrator who’s as off-putting as he is entertaining. And if that’s not enough, it follows Captain Hook’s daughter on her quest for revenge against Peter Pan. You’ll be hooked right away…get it? Get it??? Hahaha! I’ll be over here laughing at my own jokes (and you should go add these books to your to-be-read piles!)


Who am I?

I’m a young adult fantasy author who’s been in love with pirates since before Pirates of the Caribbean came out…and who then wrote a novel inspired by it. I grew up watching every pirate movie I could and have always wanted to hunt for treasure. I feel my most calm when I’m by the ocean, and I’m a bit of a wanderer myself—having traveled to over 60 countries and to every continent (yes, including Antarctica!). I have a master’s degree in Creative Writing and love sharing my adventures with the world. 


I wrote...

A Touch of Gold

By Annie Sullivan,

Book cover of A Touch of Gold

What is my book about?

After King Midas’s gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, he relinquished The Touch. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her, and she harbors powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days concealed behind gloves and veils until a charming duke arrives. However, their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals the treasures her father needs to survive. Thanks to Kora’s ability to sense gold, she sets sail after it. But she’ll have to go up against pirates, betrayers, and sirens—not to mention treasure seekers who think the golden girl might be worth her weight in gold—or risk losing her father and kingdom forever.

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