How could I resist a middle grade tale about dragons and libraries? Well, I couldn’t. This book is just perfect, as if it was written for me, and a whole dragon’s hoard of young bookworms are going to adore it!
Book: The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell
Read before: No
Ownership: Proof copy sent free of charge. All opinions my own.
First things first, my photo does not in any way do justice to how very neon this proof is! I love it – it’s so jaunty and bright and though the finished cover is also gorgeous, I really like this one! There’s fabulous artwork throughout, by Davide Ortu, and it’s got so much energy and pizzazz that it really helps to bring the story to life. I love the way Ortu draws dragons especially.
This is a book about the power of stories and libraries, which leads to some really thrilling adventures! I loved the concept of books as travel methods, and how cool would it be to be a librarian wizard?? This would be a great read for those who aren’t quite ready for Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series, as they share a theme in the magic of words. The illustrations really help conjure up the expanding worlds of the books, especially where they intrude into the paragraphs – visually, this book is super exciting too!
Kit, Alita and Josh are all really fun characters with different personalities. Kit’s not a bookworm, but over the course of the story, she learns that you don’t need to be bookish to appreciate books and the stories they contain. Her impulsivity is well-matched by Josh’s inquisitiveness and Alita’s practicality, and it’s nice to see that they love Kit despite, and for, her differences to them. There’s a lot of racial diversity too, and again, having that clear in the illustrations is great. The villain is hiss-worthy, and Kit’s mentor, Faith the librarian, is one of the coolest characters I’ve ever read in MG!
Also. There’s a dragon. I mean, I know it’s obvious from the title, but the dragon is prominent and excellently written – it just adds another layer of coolness to the book! As well as a traditional, huge, hoarding dragon, there’s also a really unique character, Dogon, who is part-dragon, part-dog. Dogon is adorable, and will definitely be a huge favourite with younger readers (and Judith, for whom I’ve never seen a better creature!). He’s such a cutie pie!
This is just so cute and fun – I’m so glad I got to read it early! I’d love to see this in school libraries all over the country, as I think it’s a book that will appeal to so many kids, and I also think it’s a great example of MG that is still relevant and fun for older readers too. Five out of five cats for sure!