Today my awesome book (and dragon!) loving mom, Barbara, has stopped by to tell us about an awesome MG, Dragon Slippers!
Ever since Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, I (Barbara) have loved dragons. Not the destructive, Smaug variety of dragon, but the human-friendly, intelligent dragons of middle-grade fantasy. Mix in a spunky young girl and a cadre of supportive friends in a medieval setting, and you have the setting of Dragon Slippers, the first in a series of Dragon Adventures from Jessica Day George, who also writes the Tuesdays at the Castle series.
Note: I received Dragon Slippers as a gift from Anya. All opinions are my own.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (Dragon Slippers #1)
Published by Bloomsbury on April 29th, 2008
Genres: Fantasy, MG
Page Length: 324 pages
How I got my copy: Gift
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Poor Creel. She can't believe her aunt wants to sacrifice her to the local dragon. It's a ploy to lure a heroic knight so that he will fight the dragon, marry Creel out of chivalrous obligation, and lift the entire family out of poverty. Creel isn't worried. After all, nobody has seen a dragon in centuries. But when the beast actually appears, Creel not only bargains with him for her life, she also ends up with a rare bit of treasure from his hoard, not gold or jewels, but a pair of simple blue slippers-or so she thinks. It's not until later that Creel learns a shocking truth: She possesses not just any pair of shoes, but ones that could be used to save her kingdom, which is on the verge of war, or destroy it.
- I love strong heroines, and Creel is a delight to read. She gets scared and doubts herself, but she also knows her own strengths and has the wits and the will to use them. When life hands her a set back, she may struggle a bit, but she then tackles her problems head on with a practical air.
- The dragons are wonderfully written. Too often, authors make them intelligent animals. While they may talk (or think) to humans, they often seem to have no motivations of their own other than survival. Not so George’s dragons. She draws back a curtain, and we get to see their loves, their artistic appreciation of the world, their friendships, and how they deal with their very long lives.
- The MC (Creel) has an usual talent … at least for this genre. Her abilities as a fancy stitcher may seem passé to moderns who are used to machine embroidery, but in the medieval period, she would have been sought-after indeed by many nobles. Using this skill to open doors for a commoner was a wonderful plot device.
- The friendships were also well-developed and inspiring for this age group. There are the expected rivalries and bullies that Creel handles as best she can. Readers will identify with her struggles and cheer when she overcomes them.
- The budding romance was entirely predictable. In a book that takes all of the typical plot devices of the genre and turns them around, having Creel and Luka flirting and falling for each other at the end was a bit of a disappointment.
This is a delightful children’s book with a strong female main character, believable solid friendships, and interesting twists. I did not see several plot twists coming and enjoyed being surprised!! Middle-grade readers will enjoy a slightly different take on dragons and their friendships with the young humans who invade their quietly ordered lives.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
© 2014 – 2016, Barbara. All rights reserved.