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DRAGONFLY by Alice McLerran

DRAGONFLY

By Alice McLerran

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 1-888842-15-6

In this lightweight tale of three children who bring home a dragon’s egg, the grownups are, for once, co-conspirators rather than obstacles. The dragonling that hatches on Jason’s little sister Rose’s bed doesn’t stay a secret for long—but, amazingly, not only are Mom and Dad enchanted with Drac, so are local handyman “Flash” Martin and nosy librarian Amelia Binns. Everyone willingly puts heads together to figure out how to feed and care for Drac, and, most important, to keep her out of the public eye; tasks complicated considerably by Drac’s ability to fly, spit flames, and, shedding skins as she goes, grow like a weed. Among other satellite plot lines, McLerran (Year of the Ranch, 1996, etc.) gives Jason a severe case of middle-siblingitis to get over and his father a midlife career change; meanwhile, Drac reaches maturity, repays her extended family both with untold wealth—the scales on all those shed skins turn out to be pure gold—and a deserted island to live on so they can all stay together, then lays an egg of her own. The various subplots are wrapped up neatly, and Drac, outwardly as fearsome as can be but actually gentle and sociable, will appeal strongly to young dragon fans. (Fiction. 10-12)