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Book details
  • SubGenre:Action & Adventure / Pirates
  • Age Range (years):13 and up
  • Language:English
  • Pages:200
  • eBook ISBN:9781618427564

Shelby and the Lost Boy of Misbegot Island

Forever Mpeta, Forever Young

by John E. Byrd

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Once upon a time, Past became Present...A Young Adult Novel inspired by the story of Peter Pan Imagine a captured African boy who escapes, along with other native boys, from a slave ship headed to the New World. They try to row their way back to Africa, but land instead on a mysterious and magical island somewhere in the Caribbean where nothing is as it should be…including the natural process of growing up. Inspired by Peter Pan, this African-American take on a classic story is one with a significant difference…one, perhaps, in which today’s “lost youth” can find themselves.
Our story is set in 1970's Brooklyn with a backstory in the Colonial-African slave trade. As our story begins, we meet fifteen-year-old, Shelby Simmons, who dreams of someday becoming a famous author. She and her siblings, Wade and Todd, have been allowed by their parents to stay up on a balmy summer evening to view the 4th of July fireworks from their favorite spot in nearby Prospect Park.While dozing dreamily after the fireworks, they are visited by a strange boy, Mpeta (em-PEE-ta), and his pixie-cute sidekick, Yam Yam, who have come to return Todd's pet pigeon who had plummeted, lost and exhausted, onto Mpeta's magical island. Shelby and her brothers are intrigued by Mpeta's ability to fly and by the wild stories he tells about his Pack of daredevil youths who fight bandits on his island called, Misbegot. After learning of Shelby's story-telling ability, Mpeta convinces her and her eager brothers to fly off with him to his mystical isle. When they land on Misbegot, Shelby and her brothers are drawn into the world of Mpeta and his Adventure Pack - wild and free youths who struggle to save their wondrous little island from predatory bandits - just as Shelby and her family are struggling to protect their Brooklyn home from under-handed real estate developers. Mpeta and his cohorts have long forgotten their African origins but Shelby's stories awaken vague memories of their past and the events that led them to their shrouded haven of Miisbegot Island.Thus: Once upon a time, Past became Present . . .
About the author
John Edward Byrd has written several plays that have been produced in New York and Los Angeles, including an Afro- Caribbean musical adaptation of Peter Pan entitled, Forever Mpeta (pronounced, M-pee-ta). His play, Poles Apart, received a commendation from the Eugene O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference. His screenplay, "The Independant" chronicles the career of pioneer black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. He has also written short stories, and is currently editing a biography of jazz legend, Sam Wooding, Jr. He attended City College of NY majoring in Film and Communication and has enjoyed a long career as a working actor. Mr. Byrd and his wife, Ruthann, both divide their time between working in Manhattan and relaxing on their farm in Upstate New York. Contact: byrdnest43@yahoo.com