Friday, January 17, 2014

A Literary Appreciation of Dragons 2014 - Part 3 of 5

Yesterday, January 16th, 2014, was Appreciate a Dragon Day. We here at Chez Wheedleton spent the day reading dragon books to mark the occasion. But yesterday wasn't our only day of literary revelry in all things dragon.

Here at Bugs and Bunnies, we choose to appreciate dragons not only on Appreciate a Dragon Day, but also on every Friday in January - sharing with our readers the dragon books we've read in the past year that we think are just fab. And today, Friday, January 17th, is one of those Fridays - the third one of 2014, in fact.

So, welcome to Part 3 of 5 of the Second Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons. We're glad you're here.

Drawing courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's resident dragon expert:  Lovely Girl

Each book featured in this series deals with dragons on its own terms; in some, dragons are central to the story, and in others, less so. But reading any or all of these books is a wonderful and fun way to appreciate a dragon.

Today's post brings three more dragon-tastic books. Chez Wheedleton's own Handsome Boy writes about the first one. The second one is the first in a series, and the final one is a delightful picture book for the very young:

Dragon Run
Written by Patrick Matthews
Ages 8 - 12  
*summary written by Handsome Boy

Dragons rule over twelve-year-old Al's world. Al is a human, one of the five mortal races created by the Dragons as vessels to gather magic for the Dragons' own use. Al's life up until now has been an ordinary one: He works in the fields his family owns every day, and he comes home every evening.

But everybody starts to become nervous as Testing Day rolls around. Al and the rest of the twelve-year-olds will be tested and assigned a rank, with the number carved on the backs of their necks. What happens to Al on Testing Day will shock everyone, make him a target for the merciless killers known as the Cullers, and ultimately flip his life upside down.

Can Al make things right? How far will the Dragon overlords go to see him dead? Will Al beat the odds? Or will the world take him down?

The Coming of Dragons: The Darkest Age, Book One
Written by A.J. Lake
Ages 8 - 12

Eleven-year-old Edmund, son of King Heored, is traveling in disguise aboard the Spearwa, on his way to Gaul to live with his uncle. Elspeth, also eleven, is aboard as well; the sea-savvy daughter of Master Trymann, the ship's captain. Besides the disguised prince, the Spearwa has another mystery aboard, a wooden chest held fast by a huge, rusted iron padlock with no keyhole.

When a sudden raging storm blows up, its cause is not nature, but a deliberate attack on the Spearwa by the terrible ice dragon, Torment, who has been freed by powerful dark magic from his thousand-year imprisonment in the frozen North. 

By the time the storm abates, the Spearwa is wrecked, and Edmund and Elspeth are the sole survivors. They wash up on the shore at Gullsedge along with the smooth-padlocked chest. All three are found and taken in by an old man named Aagard. While staying with Aagard, Elspeth comes into possession of something she neither asks for nor wants. And Edmund comes to realize he has powerful skills of the mind - ones that frighten and confuse him. Neither Edmund or Elspeth want anything more than to deny what has happened and return to their respective homes, despite Aagard's pleas for them to stay and let him help them.

Aagard tasks the mysterious traveling minstrel, Cluaran, with seeing Edmund and Elspeth safely east and toward their homes, though Cluaran is not happy to do so. On their journey, Edmund and Elspeth face dangers they never imagined coming to bear. They battle unexpected enemies, and gain help in unexpected ways. Even if they can survive these dangers, can they learn to live with the unwanted powers they never knew they had and are unable to refuse?

Waking Dragons
Written by Jane Yolen
Paintings by Derek Anderson

Even the littlest of knights have chores, and this little knight must wake the dragons before school. And so, joined by his faithful pup, the little knight does just that.

But there's more to waking dragons than just rousting them from their dragon-sized beds. There are dragon-sized fangs to be brushed, dragon-sized jammies to put in the hamper, dragon-sized waffles to be launched into dragon-sized mouths, and outdoor clothes to fit on dragon-sized bodies.

And all the little knight's hard work does not go unappreciated. When it comes time for him get to school, he gets a dragon-sized ride!

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Thank you for joining us today! Be sure to come back next Friday, January 24th, 2014, for Part 4 of 5 of the Second Annual Literary Appreciation of Dragons.

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