Scarlett Thomas’ Dragon’s Green is magical new middle grade fantasy

Dragon's Green Scarlett ThomasDRAGON’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.

© 2017, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.


  1. This is the first I’ve heard of this book. It’s just the sort of story I can see myself fallin in love with! I appreciate your comment on how the book compares to HP vs The Neverending Story regarding the world building.

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