Review Blog

Nov 13 2020

Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang

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Simon & Schuster, 2020. ISBN: 9781471193071.
(Age: 8-10) Dragon Mountain is a simple but imaginative tale that could be useful for introducing younger children to the fantasy genre. The setting is a mountain in rural China in contemporary times. The formula is that of young heroes who are sent on a camp by their parents in order to develop personal strengths and correct certain individual weaknesses. Each child bonds with a dragon that is matched to that child's particular self. As a team which relies on togetherness, they go on a quest to save both the world of humans and the world of dragons. The book concludes with a cliff hanger and if children are interested they must wait for the next book in the series.
The human characters represent different but complementary strengths. None are fully developed to the extent that children could strongly relate to them but that may come with the second book in the proposed series. The dragons who are matched to each child have their own distinctive capacities and personalities.
The authors have been sensitive about responding to current concern about gender and cultural representation. They have therefore ensured that there is gender balance and also mixed cultural representation including a bi-racial child in the cast of characters. Because of this some young readers who may not have seen themselves cast in a storybook role may enjoy an identification with the characters.
Many wonderful books have been written about quests and dragons including Carole Wilkinson's Dragon keeper series which takes readers back to the time of the Chinese Han Dynasty and the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland which has attracted many eager fans.
Dragon Mountain is an action packed read with a plot that proceeds at a cracking pace.
Suitable for 8-10 year olds.
Wendy Jeffrey

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