I was thrilled to win a copy of the first of three DIEGO’S DRAGON books. The story had me hooked and set up what a great series should do – make you want to read more. The dragon is truly magnifico and many chapters will have you on edge. I am currently mentoring a young Latino boy, so this book was a perfect window to their customs and the importance of family.
Kevin Gerard has written a tale that will be enjoyed by readers for years to come. The novel centers on Diego, the eleven-year-old protagonist, and that alone puts it solidly in the MG category. But some schools/parents at this level may frown on the use of a few scattered curse words. Nothing too heavy and it certainly puts the realistic tone to the dialog.
Overall, the book is a quick read and will appeal to dragon loving readers whether male or female. Your time with this fantastic tale will be well spent. Also available are Book Two: DRAGONS OF THE DARK RIFT and Book Three: BATTLE AT TENOCHTITLAN.
PUBLICATION DATE: 2010 Pages: 173
FULL PLOT (From Amazon): An eleven-year-old Latino boy wins a district-wide writing contest for sixth graders. When an author visits his school to award his prize, Diego Ramirez has no idea how much his life is about to change. Nathan Sullivan hands Diego his statue, a handsome, glistening black dragon. He shakes his hand and leaves him to his friends. The students crowd around Diego, asking for permission to hold it. After hearing the name Magnifico spoken aloud by family and friends, Diego awards it to his new dragon. If he only knew how fitting the name was, he might have known what lay ahead. Magnifico is the leader of the Sol Dragones, dragons that live within the magical fires of the sun. Nathan Sullivan is the earth’s connection to the mysterious creatures. It is his task to find Magnifico’s guide. As Magnifico comes to life he becomes quite mischievous, playing tricks on Diego to embarrass him. As he discovers his bloodline, however, Diego assumes greater control over his dragon and his destiny. In the climactic journey, he frees his people and suffers a terrible loss by guiding Magnifico to their goal.
FIVE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT DIEGO’S DRAGON (Book One) by Kevin Gerard
- There are few if any recent books with a Latino hero and Diego’s Dragon does a superb job of rectifying that situation.
- Your pulse will rise when the dragon takes flight with Diego hanging on. The author’s words provide a vivid picture each time the dragon is in the air.
- I like good endings and this one has a great one. Every plot point is considered and nicely concluded.
- The other characters also shine: Diego’s parents and Raquel, Diego’s first crush.They too are smart and care deeply for Diego and the decisions he must make.
- Diego’s older brother is straying away from the family and younger brother he once cared about. Diego still feels a connection to his brother and that love becomes the center of the story.
Every thought slammed together against his skull like a pinball machine gone mad.
Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.
Only two weeks to go until the huge ARE YOU KIDDING? contest is revealed. It’s the first one for this blog and not one to be missed.