Dragon Skin


Publication Date: 28 Sep. 2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN 9781760526108

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    How to save a dragon:

    1) Assemble equipment: water, Weet-Bix, sugar, syringe, sticky tape, scissors.

    2) Believe in everything.

    Pip never wants to go home. She likes to sit at the waterhole at dusk and remember Mika, her best friend. At home her mother’s not the same since her boyfriend moved in. They don’t laugh anymore and Pip has to go to bed early, turn off her light and pretend she doesn’t exist. When she finds a half-dead creature at the waterhole, everything changes. She knows she has to save this small dragon and return it to where it comes from. But how?

    A story about surviving and saving those you love, by the multi-award-winning author of Lenny’s Book of Everything.

    Information

    Book Type: Junior High
    Age Group: 11 to 14 years
    Traffic Lights: Green/Amber
    Class Novel: Yes
    Good Reads Rating: 5/5
    Literary Rating: 5/5

    Review

    At its heart, this spellbinding and rather magical book is about hope. The hope that things can only get better, and the need for action to make the best outcome possible. This story acts on two levels, connecting the fantastical mystery of finding and raising a sickly baby dragon to the very real issue of domestic abuse.

    Pip likes her outback mining hometown, but since her best friend Mika died in a motoring accident, she’s felt very alone. Though she still imagines him around, things aren’t the same—especially not at their waterhole or secret cave. Things definitely aren’t good at home either. Since her mother’s boyfriend Matt has moved in, laughter and smiles have left, taking Pip’s mum’s carefree spirit with them. Pip feels invisible.

    When Pip discovers a sickly baby dragon at the waterhole, her world shifts. At first disbelieving its identity—surely he can’t be real?—she quickly accepts Little Fella for who he is and starts to nurture him back to health. With the help of two school friends, Little Fella is soon back on his feet and learning to fly.

    Eventually Pip realises that it’s time for Little Fella to go home, and she takes him back to the waterhole where he disappears in a flash of brilliant light.

    Though Pip is sad to let Little Fella go, she returns home to find her mother is taking steps towards escaping from Matt. They bundle their possessions into his ute, and head for their family on the coast.

    A heartwarming story of love, friendship and overcoming adversity. The issue of domestic violence is dealt with subtly, clearly, and in an age-appropriate manner. The reader can observe tension building as the story progresses and understand Pip’s Mum’s actions. The ever-present grief for Mika adds another layer to Pip and her mum’s process of healing and growing, which is echoed by the symbolic healing of the dragon. A most impressive tale, highly recommended.

    Themes

    friendship, love, courage, hope, healing, dragons, domestic violence, loss, perseverance, family

    Content Notes

    1. God (p. 12, 161 x 3, 162, 237), bloody x 1. 2. Pip isn’t sure if the dragon has to do with magic (p. 37-38), but she does the best she can with what she has to hand—arrowroot biscuits—which seems to help. Mika used to believe in the paranormal, from spells to intelligent life. Pip didn’t believe any of it (p. 39-40).

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