When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother–but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott was the last MYRCA book we read, and that meant we read ALL ten SunDog-category (middle grade) nominees!
This book was super cute, however, definitely a younger middle grade audience. Main character, Jaxon, is nine-years-old, making this an early reader for sure. I felt it was too young for my boys.
I think due to that, they had a little trouble getting into the beginning of the book, but once we wrapped our heads around that aspect, we ended up thoroughly enjoying the story. It was well-written and quite fun. The characters were all interesting and unique, and well… baby dragons!
It’s also hard to find books that have a complete cast of Black characters. What I really enjoyed about this book is the characters “just happened to be Black” in this story, and I need to clarify what I mean by that. Sometimes I find that authors make an effort to show they have included characters of multiple cultures in their stories. To make them stand out, it sometimes seems unnatural. In this story it was clear the characters were Black through the character development, but no one was holding up a bill board shouting it. And that’s how it should be.
Certainly, we recommend this story, but more likely for the 7-9 year-old kiddos.
This is our last book review for MYRCA (at least until next year) and the boys cast their votes. As we read all the books, they were allowed to have two votes each: (click the links to read reviews)
1 vote for Coop the Great by Larry Verstraete
1 vote for Miles to Go by Beryl Young
2 votes for Elephant Secret by Eric Walters
This is an unsolicited review, I purchased this copy through McNally Robinson Booksellers.
Pages: 176 paperback
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books