What a fun fantasy story for middle-grade readers! I really enjoyed the 🐉dragon 😂. I haven’t read a ton of books with dragons in them, so I really liked this!
There are some great themes within the story that will resonate with many readers. Family is an important element throughout the story. I really enjoyed that the family we meet are close relatives as well as ones further along in the family tree. It’s nice to show that a family can consist of a variety of blood relatives as well as strong friends.
Overall, I thought this was a great middle grade read! While I had not read the first book, I felt like there was enough backstory to cover what previously happened. I did enjoy this enough though, that I would recommend starting at book 1!
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend The Dragon Thief for readers that enjoy a middle-grade fantasy with exciting action and strong themes of friendship and family.
Where to Find This Book:
Stealing a baby dragon was easy! Hiding it is a little more complicated, in this sequel to reviewer favorite Dragons in a Bag.
Jaxon had just one job–to return three baby dragons to the realm of magic. But when he got there, only two dragons were left in the bag. His best friend’s sister, Kavita, is a dragon thief!
Kavita only wanted what was best for the baby dragon. But now every time she feeds it, the dragon grows and grows! How can she possibly keep it secret? Even worse, stealing it has upset the balance between the worlds. The gates to the other realm have shut tight! Jaxon needs all the help he can get to find Kavita, outsmart a trickster named Blue, and return the baby dragon to its true home.
Just the Facts:
The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott
Series: Dragons in a Bag
Page Count: 176 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: October 22, 2019
I’m a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. I was born and raised in Canada, but have lived in the US for over 20 years. I earned my PhD in American Studies from NYU in 2003; I have taught at Ohio University, Louisiana State University, Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, Bard High School Early College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College.
My poetry has been published in New Daughters of Africa, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, the Cave Canem anthology The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees, and Coloring Book: an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers. My novella, Plastique, was excerpted in T Dot Griots: an Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers, and my plays have been staged in New York, Cleveland, and Chicago.
My essays have appeared in School Library Journal, Horn Book, and Publishers Weekly. My picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest and the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. My young adult novel, A Wish After Midnight, has been called “a revelation…vivid, violent and impressive history.” Ship of Souls was published in February 2012; it was named a Booklist Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Title for Youth and was a finalist for the Phillis Wheatley Book Award. My YA novel, The Door at the Crossroads, was a finalist in the Speculative Fiction category of the 2017 Cybils Awards, and my picture book, Melena’s Jubilee, won a 2017 Skipping Stones Honor Award. I received the Children’s Literature Association’s Article Award for my 2014 essay, “The Trouble with Magic: Conjuring the Past in New York City Parks.”
I am an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing, and I have self-published numerous illustrated books for younger readers under my own imprint, Rosetta Press; 3 were named Best of the Year by the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature, and Benny Doesn’t Like to Be Hugged was a first-grade fiction selection for the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Dragons in a Bag, a middle grade fantasy novel, was published by Random House in 2018; the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) named it a Notable Children’s Book. Its sequel, The Dragon Thief, was named a Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 by CBC Books. Say Her Name, a young adult poetry collection, was published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in January 2020; A Place Inside of Me: a Poem to Heal the Heart from FSG was named a 2021 Notable Poetry Book by the National Council of Teachers of English. I currently live in Evanston, IL.
Click here if you’re not sure how to pronounce my name.
I’m represented by Johanna Castillo of Writers House.
Photo credit: me!
Find out about the illustrator Geneva B HERE!
3 lucky winners will win a finished copy of THE DRAGON THIEF, US Only.
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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.