Monday, February 01, 2016
It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.
McKay, Laurie. Quest Maker (The Last Dragon Charmer #2)
February 2nd 2016 by HarperCollins
Copy received from the author
Caden is still stranded in Asheville, N.C., and he and his friends Tito and Brynne are worried when they see flashes in the sky that look like a banishing spell. Is someone else from the Greater Realm being sent to deal with Ms. Primrose, the dragon in charge of Caden's school? They later find that Caden's brother, Jasan, has arrived, and they aren't quite sure what his purpose is. Caden is too busy with his quest for Ms. Primrose to investigate; the school has had a lot of odd things happening. There is foul gas, swarms of insects, and other things that reflect poorly on the principal, so she instructs Caden to bring her proof of the person behind the events. If he doesn't, she'll eat him! It's hard to investigate when Caden's foster mother, the police, and other people in Asheville think Caden has severe psychological problems! Despite the ever present threat of Rath Dunn, who is after Brynne's hair and Caden's blood, Caden and his friends try to figure out the mystery of the troubles at school as well as the mystery of Jasan's presence in Asheville. Will Caden be able to find a way to get back home to his royal father, or will he be eaten by a dragon first?
Strengths: This fits the bill of the type of fantasy my readers are asking for these days-- set in our world but incorporating swords and dragons, action-packed, and filled with monsters, swarms of bees, and other creatures who must be defeated. I liked that the plot was clearly defined and the book didn't ramble like so many fantasy books do. This was lightly humorous as well.
Weaknesses: Caden seems to be settling in well, but occasionally there are somewhat jarring references to things he doesn't understand. E.G. He eats round grains with milk for breakfast. I know that this artifice is essential, but perhaps could be worked in more consistently or smoothly.
What I really think: I have about three children waiting for my copy of the ARC, so I think this is a good purchase for most middle school libraries!
Posted by Ms. Yingling at 5:00 AM