I heard this author speak at the Indie Book Fest in Orlando, but he was talking about his adult books. When I went to the book sale, these two covers caught my eye (the Children’s Librarian resurfaced!). Tell me about these, I asked and he smiled, looked at his daughter sitting next to him and started to tell me about the stories he tells his children and how he has made them into books. I bought the first two – right then – and read them both in one sitting. I would suggest these for third graders through middle school.
The main characters are dragons, but with their love and family life, they are easily relatable. The first is a nice set up of family and relationships with a little discord from the Hairless Two-Legs who are afraid of the dragons. As the second book progresses there is an insight into dealing with issues and problems that arise when two sides are different, yet similar and do not understand the other’s perspective. This is a great series to read with your kids and can be a catalyst to some of those harder discussions we all need to have with our children.
Ragel’s Brood – In a world where dragons are predators and humans are prey, a greedy human king tries to destroy a family of dragons until Ragel must rise up to protect his brood.
Ragel wants to live a quiet life with his mate, Saah, and their four dragonlings in the sheltered valley he had previously claimed as his own. King Thorn believes dragons are mere animals and refuses to accept Ragel’s prior claim to the valley, especially after the greedy king discovers gold there.
Thorn plots to regain the valley after Ragel destroys the mining camp, but is temporarily thwarted by weather and attacks along his kingdom’s borders by other dragons.
Meanwhile, Ragel is teaching his four dragonlings about the world and their history until his most troublesome daughter brings home a young two-leg (human) as a pet. When the pet learns the dragon language and teaches her own tongue to the dragonlings, Ragel is forced to confront his own prejudices about creatures he has viewed as nothing but prey.
When summer comes, tension between the greedy human king and the protective dragon father grows until the conflict erupts in fire and steel. Who will survive?
Naahla’s Pet – When war breaks out between dragons and humans, only one creature in the world can speak both languages and end the bloodshed: Naahla’s Pet.
Naahla is a young dragonling in Ragel’s brood. She is unique because she has adopted a human girl named Jure as a pet. Dragons see humans, who they call two-legs, as prey. Humans see dragons as mindless beasts. That begins to change when Naahla and Jure teach each other their languages.
After the events in Ragel’s Brood, this story begins as the other human kings rise up when the dragons destroy the kingdom of the greedy King Thorn. Fear and anger prompt the development of new weapons that are powerful enough to bring down dragons. The first attack brings down a group of dragons, but then they all seem to disappear.
Each fall, all dragons in the same extended family gather for a broodmeet. When Ragel’s brood shows up at their broodmeet with a pet two-leg, the other dragons are enraged. The recent war with King Thorn and the new attacks by other two-legs spark a conflict that races toward full blown war.
Only one creature in the world can speak both languages and bring an end to the bloodshed: Naahla’s Pet.