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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Peter Pan sequel hits bookshelves
The Peter Pan in Scarlet book cover
The book will be published in 34 languages worldwide
A sequel to children's classic Peter Pan has been published - more than 100 years after the original.

Peter Pan in Scarlet has been written by award-winning author Geraldine McCaughrean, who was commissioned to write the authorised follow-up.

The rights of the book were left to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital by the original author JM Barrie.

A spokesman for the hospital, which is selling the book, said: "It's gone very well, it's flying off the shelves."

Details leaked

The book is set 20 years after the original, with Peter Pan's friend Wendy now having children of her own and the Lost Boys having grown up.

Geraldine McCaughrean
I am more nervous now than when I first signed on because I just didn't realise in my ignorance that it was going to be quite that big
Geraldine McCaughrean

"So the first thing that they have to do is to become children again so they can go back to Neverland because only children can go there," McCaughrean told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"When they get there, they find Neverland seriously changed. It's colder and more dangerous and more frightening than it was before," she added.

Publishers tried to keep details of the book secret but were forced to launch an investigation back in August after an American newspaper printed a summary of the plot. The book is being published in 30 different countries in 34 languages.

Split royalties

"I am more nervous now than when I first signed on because I just didn't realise in my ignorance that it was going to be quite that big."

"I thought it was very English, possibly American, but not Korean and Russian and so forth. It is very exciting," McCaughrean said.

Royalties from the new book will be split between the author and the hospital.

McCaughrean was chosen to write the sequel from nearly 200 authors around the world after Great Ormond Hospital launched a search for someone to put pen to paper in 2004.

She has won the Whitbread Children's book of the year award three times for re-interpreting classics such as Noah's Ark, Moby Dick and The Canterbury Tales for younger readers.

She added: "There is a magic to that place Neverland - it really does take a grip on you."

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