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NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve

NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS

By Philip Reeve

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-22224-2
Publisher: Scholastic

Dragon-slaying is the perfect medieval con, until it turns out dragons aren’t so imaginary after all. Ten-year-old Ansel, mute since his mother’s death, has been sold off to Brock; Ansel’s father wanted gold, and Brock wanted a servant who couldn’t betray his scam (find a gullible village, ride into the hills, return with sheep guts draped over the crocodile head he secretly carries, collect reward, ride on, repeat). When they find an actual dragon in the snowy mountains, death seems certain; instead, new beginnings and hope (plus some new schemes) emerge. Reeve’s humor may amuse the adults who might read this aloud more than the listeners (Brock’s womanizing and an indulgence-selling defrocked priest whom the dragon eats are standouts), but the chills and Ansel’s recognition of the dragon’s piercing loneliness make for compelling, sometimes pulse-pounding action, and Ansel’s growth provides a heart beneath the adventure. A gem, much like those rumored to rest in a dragon’s hoard. (Fantasy. 9-12)