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DRAGONHAVEN by Robin McKinley Kirkus Star


by Robin McKinley

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-24675-3
Publisher: Putnam

A sharply incisive, wildly intelligent dragon fantasy involving profound layers of science and society, love and loss and nature and nurture. Jake’s lived his whole life in Smokehill National Park, federally protected land that harbors much of the world’s dwindling dragon population. His father runs the Institute there, but even the most dedicated scientists rarely see dragons, who stay far away from the touristy, human-populated area. On an overnight solo, Jake finds a mother dragon dying, with tiny blobs—barely identifiable dragonlets—on the ground next to her. Jake desperately sticks the single live dragonlet down his shirt, beginning a momentous, multi-year task with worldwide implications. While harming a dragon is illegal, saving one is equally punishable. In McKinley’s realistic America, science and law are heavily influenced by funding and public opinion. Despite Jake’s constant anxiety and confusion over the years, every day fraught with secrecy and the fear of harming his dragonlet, his tight narration is penetratingly insightful about emotion, biology, language and the intricate love/hate relationship between science and humanity. Quietly magnificent. (Fantasy. YA)