I saw this on the Shelf Awareness news letter and it really caught my attention. I'll have to go search it down because it sounds excellent!
Neverland by Douglas Clegg
$15.95 trade paper
There is no horror greater than the horror of childhood, where we must learn the rules that help us survive in the world. Never take candy from a stranger, don't touch that, look both ways. Childhood is one long lesson in how not to get hurt. While you're learning that lesson, the world seems a dangerous place, full of misunderstood meaning and menace.
If you look at the literature of childhood, from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm to the wizard world of Harry Potter, you find a massively confusing world of adult rules, deception and mendacity. Child heroes stumble through this darkness, virtue and purity their only tools of defense against the big, bad world of adulthood. Sometimes this world is Wonderland. Sometimes it is a gingerbread house. Once it was a chocolate factory.
In Douglas Clegg's newest book he calls this world Neverland.Neverland is a dark fantasy, a horror novel, about childhood. On a small island off the coast of Georgia, the Jackson family's summer retreat is a haunted swampland of cursed legacies and lurking evils. The adult Jacksons spend their days in a bourbon-soaked haze, bickering and taking refuge from the heat. The children (Beau, Nonie, Missy and Sumter) spend their days playing games and being bored until they discover Neverland, the name they give a dilapidated shack on the family property.
The first lines of the story tell us more than we would like to know about this particular playhouse:
"No Grown-ups"Among other words we wrote across the walls--some in chalk, some with spray paint--these two words were what my cousin Sumter believed in most.There were other words.
Some of them written in blood.
You see, Lucy lives in Neverland. And Lucy can do things, bad things. It is Sumter who most clearly hears Lucy's voice, though it is his cousin Beau who tells us the story. While the adults in the story teeter around drunkenly unaware, the children are waging a battle. Like childhood itself, it is a battle where the rules are unknown and the damage is unfathomable. A final showdown between Beau and Sumter will determine the boundaries of Neverland once and for all.
This particular summer on the island will change everything and the borderland between child and adult will be breached forever. One can only imagine what the Jackson children will write for their back-to-school essays about "What I did on my summer vacation." One thing is for certain: it will not be suitable for children.--Michael Wells
So does this sound good or what?