Do you remember the moment you were first smitten? I do. My fifth-glade class was in the library, and the librarian began reading “Dealing with Dragons.” At that moment, I fell in love. In love with books, in love with stories, and in love with dragons.
It’s Appreciate a Dragon Day, and the main dragon of this series is Kazul, more philosopher than terror. Never have I ever suspended my disbelief as I did with this book. Kazul could have walked through my childhood bedroom door and I wouldn’t have blinked. She lived and breathed and was as real as my dog.
Sometimes it’s embarrassing to admit that my favorite book is a kid’s/YA book, but this title pops into my head first when anyone asks. I keep a copy of “Dealing with Dragons” with me wherever I go, and I’ve had to buy many copies because I’ve literally read it to pieces. I can’t recommend this book or series enough. It’s impossible for me to believe that anyone would ever not like it. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles has four books and the fourth book, “Talking to Dragons” is my second favorite, followed by the Book of Enchantments, which is a spin-off of short stories.
With all the dystopian booklists popping up during the Covid-19 epidemic, I’m astounded not to see The Giver on more lists. Isn’t it the ultimate dystopia?
Authors, read this book if you want an example of an exquisitely developed alternate universe. Anytime I read a dystopian novel, it gets compared to this story. I ask, “How fully did I feel the world actually existed? How strong are my reactions to this new reality?” I first heard this story when I was about eleven years old. To this day, I can still picture Jonas’ world exactly the same as I did the first time. I see black and white. I see bicycles. I see the Nurturing Center, the Elders, the Ceremony. If you’re building a universe based on our reality, I suggest starting here.
Readers, read this book if you want to escape from our world for a little while, but not into an anxiety-ridden experience. During this pandemic, many people are saying they can’t focus, can’t read. This is a short, simple, easy book that will pull you away from our reality into another.
What I want to tell people about this book is if you like dystopian novels but don’t want the savageness of Lord of the Flies or the harshness of 1984 or the bizarreness of Brave New World, this is a perfect fit, a gentle book.
I read a lot and I hope to help authors with the craft of writing. I share good examples of difficult aspects of writing: point of view, narration, world building and more.
Occasionally I give editing tips and share insights from the world of publishing.
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