Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas

Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a long time fan of Scarlett Thomas’ adult fiction I was positively seething with jealousy when my niece came home from school earlier this year proudly clutching a copy of Dragons Green and announced that the author had visited her class earlier that day.

I was eager to get reading myself, although slightly apprehensive. Scarlett Thomas’ usual writing style is highly imaginative (good for children’s fiction) but also highly intellectual (possibly problematic for children’s fiction). I think it’s fair to say that a good adult fiction writer may not turn out to be a good children’s fiction writer and I didn’t want to be disappointed.

Thankfully, book one in the WorldQuake series was everything I wanted it to be and more. From the first page the magic practically crackled off the page. It took me back to being 9 years old and settling down to read the first Harry Potter book. Even the names of the characters in Dragon’s Green gave me a lovely, warm feeling because they are just so storybook perfect. Real names for people who seem like they’d be off on lots of adventures.

The plot, though not completely original, is well structured and the pace of the story moves along well, something which is vital in a children’s book if you’re going to keep the little monsters engaged. I especially liked the innocence of the children in this story. They’re happy to be kids and are in no hurry to grow up, but they’re also hungry for a good old fashioned adventure. As a parent, s is becoming more and more important to me. A book which can inspire children to be brave, clever, kind and to seek adventure is a powerful, special thing.

My favourite part of story was Effie’s delightful encounter with the dragon and I loved the whole idea of being “the last reader” of a book.

The best thing I can say about this book is it is just as entertaining for adults to read as it is for children. I love that I can discuss my favourite parts with my niece and and I know that one day I will enjoy tucking my daughter into bed and sharing a few chapters a night with her. And by then we’ll have more WorldQuake stories to get through!
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