BACKYARD DRAGON by Betsy Sterman


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 Imaginative, lonely fifth-grader Owen isn't unlike the boy who cried wolf: when he reports a dragon in his backyard, the police are skeptical. Still, Owen's mourning widower grandfather, who's been withdrawing from the world a bit more each day, investigates the boy's claims. A wizard has accidentally sent the dragon into the 20th century; now both wizard and dragon need the help of Grandpa, Owen, and all Owen's new friends to get back to the age whence they've come. The scheme involves a trip to Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Meanwhile, Owen quits reporting so frequently (or, from the reader's point of view, so gratuitously) to imaginary friend Dooley (via his diary), and Grandpa gets that sought-after new lease on life. With so many storylines--school, dragon, imaginary friend, bully, time travel, grandparent, and friend, etc. --this feels as if it was written by committee. It's a spell pot that's anything but enchanted. Illustrations not seen. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-020783-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1993