Saturday, February 9, 2013


Hartman, Rachel. 2012. SERAPHINA. New York, NY: Random House. ISBN 9780375866562. [Suggested Grade Levels 6-12]

I am not a fan of dragon books. I procrastinated in reading SERAPHINA, despite all the “good buzz” about it until after it was announced as the winner of the Morris Award (“honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature”). I am now in love with a dragon book. Now I know that writing in first person conversational style is not the norm in reviews, but once in a while, it is the best way to convey delight.

Seraphina is an impossibility—she is the child of a human father and a dragon mother. Such creatures cannot exist—or so it is believed. In the Kingdom of Goredd, there is a truce between humans and dragons but neither side really trusts the other. As a new musician and a member of the royal court, she finds herself caught up in a murder investigation, a plot to destroy the fragile peace that exists between humans and dragons, and a burgeoning romance with a bastard prince. She must hide the secret of her heritage while she tries to prevent disaster for the kingdom.

Strong characterization, wonderful imagination, vivid imagery, romance, danger, clandestine meetings, violence—the book has it all.

Investigate the history of dragon and dragon lore.

Look for images of dragons. How do the images differ from country to country, time period to time period. If possible, locate the book EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT A DRAGON LOOKS LIKE by Jay Williams (Aladdin ISBN 9780020456001).

Share other books about dragons—picture, middle grade readers, graphic novels, and young adult fiction.

Paolini, Christopher. ERAGON. ISBN 9780375826696
Drake, Ernest and Dugald Steer. DRAGONOLOGY: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF DRAGONS. ISBN 9780763623296

By Janet Hilbun

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