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*Dragon Spear (Dragon Slippers)* by Jessica Day George - middle grades book review
Also by Jessica Day George:

Tuesdays at the Castle

Princess of Glass

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

Dragon Slippers

Dragon Flight
Dragon Spear (Dragon Slippers)
by Jessica Day George
Ages 10+ 256 pages Bloomsbury USA September 2010 Hardcover    

The third volume of the Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George, Dragon Spear continues to follow Creel’s adventures with her dragon friends but also shares excitement about her wedding preparations. While it isn’t as action-packed as the first two books were, George maintains favorite characters in a world that stays true to the one introduced in Dragon Slippers and continued in Dragon Flight. Sometimes, happy continuity and a chance to revisit old friends is enough to draw readers back in.

Dragon Spear begins a short time after the big war, when the dragons are relegated to the ends of the earth in the Far Isles, having been banished from the King’s Seat. Creel and her second-born prince, Luka, anxiously await their upcoming nuptials. To launch their new romantic adventure together, the couple journeys to visit the dragons.

After a crazy-long boat ride, and a four day dragon flight, they enjoy an enthusiastically happy reunion. We are brought back together with familiar scaled, toothy faces, as well as new babies and dragons that were rescued in the war.

What Creel expects to be a happy, relaxing visit with friends she misses becomes something much more when the new dragons show up. Her dragons have known war with humans and war with human-controlled dragons, but never with other real dragons with confusing motives.

These unknown dragons kidnap Queen Velika when she is heavy with baby dragonlet eggs, due to be laid soon. Many days away is an unmapped island inhabited by small, snuff-colored dragons who keep human slaves. They snatch the queen intending to keep her hatchlings to renew their race, which seems to be dying out gradually.

Rather than thriving, like Creel’s friends obviously are, their young are few and far between, growing to be much smaller, much weaker, and with no vibrant colors. They feel that they need—indeed, are owed—Queen Velika’s babies.

Creel, dressmaker extraordinaire, has no way of knowing that it will be her most precious creation that will be needed to save the day. She finds herself in a difficult personal position, and her decision changes the course of the world.

Beyond crafting relationships (both friendly and sweetly romantic) built on mutual respect and trust, George shows a world that encourages imagination, craftiness, and strong morality.

It isn’t just accepting and enjoying the dragons that inspire a bit of thoughtfulness: words chosen, hobbies given to the characters, and situations they find themselves in nearly requires the broadening of young minds. One of the dragons explores his own creative streak by using dragonfire to make blown glass ornaments—what a great way to spur young fans into finding their own unique artistic outlets.

Jessica Day George has a singular way of blending story-telling with subtle honorable guidance for her readers. This is the real joy in the Dragon Slippers series, and the reason that Dragon Spear can stand alone even though its excitement level won’t raise the little hairs on the back of the neck like its predecessors.
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  Carolynn Evans/2013 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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