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Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi
Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott
Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass
The Extremely High Tide! by Kir Fox and and M. Shelley Coats
Fearless Mary by Tami Charles and Claire Almon
Fire Storm by Andrew Lane
The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan
The Horse in Harry's Room by Syd Hoff
I Date Dead People by Ann Kerns and Janina Görrissen
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
The Misfits Club by Kieran Mark Crowley
The Missing Magic by Kallie George
My Life as a Diamond by Jenny Manzer
My Little Pony Micro-Series: #7 Cutie Mark Crusaders by Ted Anderson
My Little Pony: Micro-Series: #8: Princess Celestia by Georgia Ball
The Poisoned House by Michael Ford
The Ropemaker by Peter Dickinson
Rust: Soul in the Machine by Royden Lepp
A Script for Danger by Carolyn Keene
The Similars by Rebecca Hanover
Snake Bite by Andrew Lane
SOS at Night by M.A. Wilson
Tintin in Tibet by Hergé
The Uncertain Places by Lisa Goldstein
Under the Jolly Roger by L.A. Meyer
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 07)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 14)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 21)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (January 28)
December 2018 Sources
December 2018 Summary

Road Essays
FF6666: orphan going offroad towards home

FF6633: orphans going home along the Blue Highway

FF6600: Orphans looking for home on the Interstate

FF33FF: orphans in rural places surrounded by cornfields

FF33CC and FF3399: rural orphans in the maze and labyrinth

Road Narrative Update for December 2018

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Dragons in a Bag: 01/15/19

Dragons in a Bag

Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott is the first in a new series of middle grade urban fantasy books. When his mother is in a bind with her schedule, he's taken to "Ma's" house. She's a mean old lady who has nothing fun in her house and doesn't want him there. And then a strange package arrives at her house and Jaxon's life is changed forever.

In the box are some dragon eggs and they need to be delivered somewhere safe. Safe isn't Brooklyn. Safe is somewhere wild and somewhere with magic. Jaxon ends up spending his time helping Ma with her delivery and later, in rescuing her when they are separated.

Elliott has created a fascinating urban landscape that blends the ordinary of city life with the extraordinary of magic and alternate worlds. Just as Doctor Who has turned the now obsolete Police Boxes into a space ship and time machine, Jaxon's Brooklyn has ways into other worlds and times.

As the book is only 160 pages with illustrations, it would make a great book to read aloud in a classroom setting or as a bed time story over the course of about a week.

Placement of the book on the road narrative spectrum

Because Jaxon learns about his family and ends up collaborating first with an honorary grandmother and later with his actual father, the travelers for this book are a family (33). Ma is looking for a safe place, alternate dimension, for the dragons. That puts the destination in the utopia category (FF). Finally, the method Jaxon et al use to travel is a magical one, not a road based one. It is a decidedly offroad route (66). Put all together it's 33FF66.

If you look at the placement image, it appears that Dragons in a Bag should be horror. The genre placement on the spectrum is primarily based on White cisgendered male literature and narrative analysis. As I am actively trying to fill in the blanks by reading works by authors who don't fit into that category, I am finding that diverse writers don't find horror in the same situations.

In a White novel, family is supposed to be safe, ordinary, mundane even. Families are in domestic stories. Anything that threatens to disrupt normalcy instantly puts the narrative into the horror category.

This isn't the case with the books I've read by non-White authors. Family is strength. Families can rise up together to face the unknown. Families can travel to alternate worlds. Families can fight monsters and survive intact.

The second book is The Dragon Thief and it comes out later this year.

Five stars

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