Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum

This is a fun read! Forget anything you ever heard about dragons, this one is different. And so's the princess...

Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, a Random House division, sent me this book for review. The illustrator is Lee Wildish and I fell in love with the picture on the front cover. Those within the body of the book are also great and will help keep your young reader's attention. This is meant to be a step up from leveled readers and is for the 7-10 age group.

12-year-old Thomas is the oldest child in a large family, and spends a good part of his day watching the other children. When they all go down to the creek to bathe, they suddenly see a tired knight riding down the middle of the creek heading for the baby. As Thomas runs to save her, one of his brothers throws a rock at the horse and ends up scaring the horse and upending the knight. This is how Thomas meets Sir Gerald.

Once Sir Gerald meets the family, he offers to take Thomas to the castle and teach him to be a squire. He hates to leave his family, but to be taught at the castle is a dream the family never thought would come true.

Thomas is small for his age, and the other squires make fun of him. He longs to be a Knight, but doubts he'll ever be able to qualify for it.

Then the Dragon Queen captures Princess Eleanor... Thomas has a crush on her, all the Knights are out protecting the borders, who will help the Princess?

When he finds the King alone, depressed, and almost crying because of the loss of his daughter, Thomas volunteers to find her and vanquish the dragon. The King accepts.

When he takes his small sword, the small donkey still left in the stable and his leather vest his father made him, he has no idea what trials and tribulations he will have to go through to get to his destination. Nor does he have any idea what he's going to find when he finally locates the Princess.

Thomas is a loveable underdog who will not give up despite his size and his limited physical abilities. He learns to use his brains and he's kind and good in his adventure.

Does this keep him from being fried by the dragon? You'll have to read the book to see...

You can tell the author is a storyteller. This story has a very good flow and will keep the reader turning pages.

This book is currently for sale at your local bookstore. Get a copy for that young fantasy reader in your life.

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