Dragons, libraries, and magical books – oh my! Seriously, who wouldn’t want to read a book with these elements?
10 year old Kit doesn’t like reading or books, and wants to spend the holidays mucking about outside, but to please her friends, Alita and Josh, agrees to visit the library (briefly!) while they check to see if the latest release in their favourite series is available. While there, Faith, the librarian, insists Kit takes a book to read, and gives her one on the great fire of London. Kit however is drawn to a dusty old book in a separate cabinet called Dangerous Animals. Opening at a picture of a snake, Kit hears a hiss, and then finds she is face to face with a black mamba…
This is a fun read for younger children, full of magic, including portals into certain books, as well as a threat to the library (and the whole world). It turns out that all librarians are actually wizards, with a specific and important task to do (I don’t want to give spoilers so suffice it to day that it involves dragons and books). Wizards are those whose magic potential manifests at 18 and are then trained for their new role in the library. Kit is a bit of a child prodigy, therefore, which thrills her as she always felt she was average and ordinary. Of course, it turns out she is anything but average, but I don’t think she needs the ability to cast spells to be more than “nothing in particular”. She is a brave, curious and resourceful character, even if impulsive and not (yet) a reader.
Favourite thing about the book: The three friends work very well together to overcome the antagonist, each playing a different part.
Favourite character: Dogon. A puppy with spaniel type ears and red fur but with green scales on his tummy, red wings and the ability to breathe fire. Born a puppy, Dogon’s proximity to the dragon in the library means he picks up a lot of dragon traits while remaining a puppy for a long time. Dogon also plays a key part in the confrontation with the villain.
This is a quick, entertaining read with good characters and lots of humour and magic, which younger kids will really enjoy.
TOTP awards A Dragon in the Library 8 out of 10 Diamonds