Thank you to Jeff Doherty at Stories and Pictures who not only donated a copy of my book Polar Boy to his local school library but got me thinking about how underfunded many of our public school libraries are. And how donating a book to the library is one thing parents can do to not only help increase the range of books available but reinforce the value of books in the eyes of their own children. I know from personal parental experience, kids love to be the first one to borrow their specially donated book.
I also liked how in Jeff's case, the local bookstore and the school banded together - supporting each other. At my local public school, Waniora Public, there isn't a bookstore nearby. However, we had a Scholastic Book Fair during Education Week. The kids were very excited about buying a book - some because they are keen readers and others because the Book Fair is 'an event'. My son bought a Zac Power book. He has three now - and doesn't read any of them. For the moment they are a sort-of fashion accessory while he reads other titles. But I'm all for books being carried around for any reason as I am sure ultimately familiarity leads to reading.
Our donation book this year was Dragon Dawn by Carole Wilkinson. A personal favourite of mine and one my son is looking forward to reading with me.
Courtesy of the Reading Stack, here is my recent review of Dragon Dawn
Dragon Dawn by Carole Wilkinson black dog books Paperback Junior fiction $12.99
Dragon Dawn is the prequel to the award-winning and best-selling Dragonkeeper trilogy. The series follows the story of the elder dragon Danzi, the hatchling Kai and Ping, the slave girl who becomes their Dragonkeeper. The third book in the series, Dragon Moon, was the 2008 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Younger Readers.
In the prequel, we travel back in time to when Danzi is a youngster, not yet 1,000 years old. Cho-Men, Danzi’s Dragonkeeper, has died and Danzi is preparing to return the old man’s possessions to his family. Danzi has decided he doesn’t want or need another keeper. Humans don’t last very long anyway.
But on the journey he misses the company of his old friend and strikes up a new friendship with Bingwen, a young man earning money in the street with sleight of hand tricks. Danzi doesn’t approve of such trickery but the two are drawn together.
Dragonkeepers are born to specific families and have three key characteristics – they can hear dragon speech in their mind, they have second sight and are left-handed. Bingwen can hear Danzi and he has prophetic dreams. But he is right handed, his left hand crushed as a child. Could he still be a Dragonkeeper?
The book is set in exciting times. The armies of the Qin are marching from the north to besiege the cities of China. Danzi and Bingwen, searching for Cho-men’s village, fly right into the middle of a battle zone.
I highly recommend Dragon Dawn and the entire Dragonkeeper series. It will appeal to boys and girls alike – whether they enjoy fantasy, history or just a good adventure.