Dragonhaven – Robin McKinley


Jake, lives in a fictionalized present-day America, one in which dragons really exist and have been studied (and occasionally poached) since the 1800s. Jake’s mother died two years previously, leaving things strained between him and his father, who acts as the director for the world’s largest dragon preserve, Smokehill. The preserve is not only a tourist trap, attracting thousands of families and dragon enthusiasts (Jake calls them Fruit Loops) a year, but also home to a cast of eccentric park employees.

In Jake’s world, it is illegal to kill a dragon, but, as the creatures can grow to be over 50 feet long and breathe fire, it is also illegal to save one. On his first “Ranger” tour of the park, Jake chances across a dying dragon—the mangled body of a poacher lying nearby. On the ground are a series of little blobs that turn out to be the dragon’s newborn “dragonlets.” At first, all of them appear to be dead … but guess what?

I liked this book’s story, I mean how cool would it be to raise a dragon?!, but found it really hard to read.  Unfortunately, I think there are other dragon books out there that just do a better job.  Try Dealing with Dragons or Dragon’s Keep.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian


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