Tom Taylor / Jon Sommariva
Penguin Random House Australia

Bee and her fellow runaways are their own found family. So when a stranger named Paco saves her life, Bee invites him to join their crew, thinking he’s another lost teen. The truth is Paco’s not just a lost teen, he’s a
Lost Boy from Neverland. And he needs Bee and the others to come back with him.

When the group is then spirited away by a foul-mouthed Tinker Bell, they discover that Neverland is not some fun-filled hideaway.
It’s a war zone under siege by a horde of pirates with a merciless new leader who will stop at nothing to steal the land’s magic.
Tink leads a fairy army that barely holds them at bay. Peter Pan is gone. And rest of the Lost Boys have been killed. Paco is all that remains … but he hopes that this group of teens will become the new Lost Ones.
These young runaways may be Neverland’s only hope – but they’re about to learn that it’ll take a lot more than happy thoughts to win a war.

Judges’ Comments

A beautifully presented work, with dark, funny, insightful writing supported by dynamic and powerful images. The story is well-paced, chronicling the journey of a contemporary “found family” tale embedded within the metatextuality of a fantastical Peter Pan narrative. Readers of all ages will appreciate the clever, action-oriented storyline and gloriously rich illustrations, while discerning readers will unpack the hints of the adults’ destruction of the world, parental failure, gun violence and domestic violence to add a more serious dimension to the fantasy plot. The characters are believable, and thematic elements of belonging and forgiveness are presented authentically and skillfully. A stunning book with a potent message wrapped up in a ripping good yarn package.

Creative Responses