Dragons

Professor Diggins’ Dragons

“For everyone, young or old,

who has ever had a crock of butter

to carry around a mountain…

and met a dragon.”*

Professor Diggins from the University is a little cracked, or so the board of Directors believe. Any respectable marine biology professor should keep fantasies out of the classroom, according to the Directors; so when Diggins begins to teach his devoted students about dragons and dragon-hunting and rumors start spreading, there’s only one course of action the University can take. They must retire Professor Diggins. That course of action is not popular with anyone, however; and especially not with the children who walk the Professor to his class every day. When the Directors insist on the Professor having at least a vacation to clear his head of these dragon fantasies; he takes a group of these children with him to the beach for a camping trip, where they will meet the Professor’s dragons for themselves.

I would highly recommend Professor Diggins’ Dragons by Felice Holman for ages 8+. This is a fun, lighthearted children’s book, with excellent themes and eccentric, memorable characters; well written and humorous. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“ ‘Oh dear!’ said Lydia. ‘Is this the end?’

‘Indeed not!’ said Professor Diggins. ‘Just a stopping place.’ ”*

*Excerpts taken from Professor Diggins’ Dragons, written by Felice Holman and published in 1996 by The Macmillan Company

Renegade Skyfarer

Renegade Skyfarer, written by R.J. Metcalf and published in 2018 by Fayette Press, is a rousing tale of airships, dragons, sky pirates, lost memories, and political power struggles. Book one in the Stones of Terrene Chronicles, this book would fall under the steampunk\fantasy YA genre.

Ben wakes up in the medical bay of the airship The Sapphire with his name as his only memory. The crew members of this ship found him unconscious and bleeding near a dragon’s nest. He has no idea what happened to him, or even if he belongs in this world. But there’s more going in Terrene than just Ben’s mysterious appearance and the regular attacks by dragons. The magical Barrier between southern Terrene and the northern Elphs is weakening, and it’s only a matter of time before it collapses altogether, leaving them vulnerable to the attacks by the vicious enemy. The crew of The Sapphire is determined to find the one thing that can strengthen the barrier, and so far, they’re not having any luck. To make matters worse, political unrest is growing and there are whispers of a new ruler to take the throne. Will Ben stay with his new friends and help in the quest to save Terrene? Will he ever remember who he really is? And will Terrene survive the coming storm?

Welcome aboard The Sapphire.

I would recommend this book for ages 16+. There is some romance and mild thematic elements to watch out for, as well as violence and some intrigue. This book has excellent description, believable dialogue, and well-thought out characters. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Dragon Rider

Dragon Rider, a #1 New York Times Bestseller written by Cornelia Funk was first published in Germany by Cecilie Dressler Verlag and later published in America by Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. This book would fall under the contemporary fantasy\modern fairy tale genre.
The valley of the silver dragons is in danger of discovery by the humans. Firedrake, a young dragon, and his faithful brownie Sorrel set off in search of a new home for their friends; the fabled Rim of Heaven, a dragon refuge hidden among the highest mountain peaks in the world. Firedrake, Sorrel, and their human friend Ben; along with other allies both magical and ordinary must evade the evil Golden Nettlebrand and his treacherous armor-cleaners while hunting for their new home. Crossing deserts and oceans; encountering djinns, basilisks, sand fairies, and sea serpents; and fulfilling ancient prophecies; these friends will learn what it means to be a family.
I highly recommend this book for ages 10+. There is some violence and name calling; as well as some magic and other fantasy elements. A highly engaging read with riddles, fabulous creatures, and a heroic quest; well written story and fun characters. 4 out of 5 stars.

Eragon

One of the most popular young adult fantasy novels in recent times, Eragon, written by Christopher Paolini and published first by Paolini International LLLC in 2002 and later by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, in 2003.
Eragon is a young farm boy living in the land of Alagaësia with his uncle and cousin, his mother having left him with them when he was newly born. Eragon discovers a strange stone while he is out hunting one day; and what hatches from that stone will change the fate of both Ergon and of the whole world. Caught up in the intrigues and destinies of a rebellion against the evil king Galbatorix, Eragon must decide to become who he was meant to be. The Dragon Riders will rise again, and the tyrant Galbatorix will rue the day he betrayed his own.
I recommend this book for ages 15+. It can be a little slow at times, but the characters are well developed, and the story is rich with histories, imaginative creatures, epic fight scenes, and powerful magic. There is some mild profanity and a mature element, as well as some violence and dark magic. An excellent read with dragons, danger, and destinies. 3.5 out of 5 stars.