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The Dragons of Spratt Ohio: 12/06/09
Imagine if the Wilds of Ohio had a clutch of dragonets growing up among the white rhinos and reticulated giraffes. Imagine further that they were in the care of a ten year old boy known only by his last name, Salt. That's the idea behind The Dragons of Spratt, Ohio.
Shortly after the dragons hatch a long lost aunt appears to do research on a new wrinkle cream. She is part of R & D of a famous makeup producer in Paris France. She is idolized by Candi, a straight A student who is afraid she has to play dumb to stay popular.
The aunt, Dr. Salt, though turns out to be very different than Candi's imagined version. She only wears black, she only eats health food and she doesn't seem to have any sense of humor.
Meanwhile, Salt has the dragons to worry about. They are at risk from poachers and are a danger to the other wildlife at the park. When a dragon goes missing he has to risk his own life to keep them safe even if it means betraying someone very close to him.
Although Salt's parents are absent in the book he isn't an orphan. They are away on business and it gives Salt, Candi and the other teens in the book a chance to spread their wings just as the dragons are doing the same. Their reactions though are grounded in the values of their families and the parents do play important roles too.
Throughout the book Salt makes a number of interesting observations about dragon behavior and biology. These added details help bring the fantasy elements alive.
A similar book worth reading is Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley.
Comment #1: Sunday, December, 6, 2009 at 19:32:37
I was just thinking as I read your review: sounds kind of like Dragonhaven by McKinley. This one looks like for younger readers, though.
Comment #2: Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 18:19:13
Both books are aimed at children ages 9 to 12. The cover art makes it look like The Dragons of Spratt Ohio is for younger readers but the novel itself has some comprable violence and danger to Dragonhaven.