The Dragon Thief

Random. (Dragons in a Bag: Bk. 2). Oct. 2019. 176p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781524770495.
Gr 2-5–Picking up where Dragons in a Bag left off, this sequel continues the story of Jaxon, a nine-year-old Brooklynite trying to return a dragon lost in his care to the realm of magic. As it turns out, the dragon was taken by Kavita, the little sister of Jaxon’s best friend Vikram, and now all three children must find a way to protect the dragon and ensure its safe return. This is easier said than done, as Kavita, with the help of an elderly relative, has run away with the dragon, and there are no working transporters to the realm of magic. Complicating matters further, Ma, a witch and Jaxon’s mentor, has fallen into a mysterious deep sleep, and a neighborhood bully joins Jax and Vik when he discovers a magical creature in their possession. Told in a dual narrative alternating between Kavita’s and Jaxon’s exploits, the story features a memorable cast of likable characters, a well-paced plot, and thoughtful explorations of family bonds, freedom, leadership, identity, and belonging. As in the first book, Elliott centers protagonists of color—Jaxon is black and Kavita and Vikram are Indian—who are historically underrepresented in the genre.
VERDICT Sure to satisfy fans of the first book and attract new readers to this winning, inclusive fantasy series.

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