DRAGON’S GREEN, by Scarlett Thomas, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May 30, 2017, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 9-12)
Author Scarlett Thomas offers a new take on magic in Dragon’s Green, the first book in her Worldquake series.
Effie Truelove has always believed in magic, and despite her father’s denial of it, she holds that belief close to her heart. Effie’s grandfather, Griffin, seems to confirm its existence but refuses to do any or to teach Effie how to use it.
When Griffin is attacked and left for dead, Effie finds herself in the possession of an unusual silver ring and tasked with protecting her grandfather’s library of rare and powerful books. While Effie is able to salvage a number of Griffin’s strange objects, the library falls into the hands of a shady scholar.
Unwilling to see her grandfather’s things sold off, Effie enlists the help of her new friends — nerdy Maximilian, rugby-mad Wolf, helpful Lexy, and eccentric Raven. It’s a ragtag group of children that one would never expect to join forces, but as they quickly discover, they each hold true powers that could make all the difference.
At first glance, Dragon’s Green seems a little formulaic — a child discovering magical powers and using them to thwart evildoers. Once you start ready, though, you realize there’s much more to the book.
Dragon’s Green isn’t as straightforward as the Harry Potter series. It feels, instead, more like The Neverending Story. The magical world unfolds in bits and pieces, allowing the reader to experience it just as Effie does.
Author Scarlett Thomas has created a unique world where magic exists in the most unexpected places. Dragon’s Green isn’t just told from Effie’s point of view. Readers also get to know her friends, although Maximilian gets much more attention here. I’m excited to see all the children develop as the series advances.