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Thomas and the Dragon Queen

by Shutta Crum
Illustrated by Lee Wildish

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2010
267 pages
ISBN: 978-0-375-85703-4

Ages 7 - 10

Small for his age but very capable, upbeat Thomas serves as a page and then squire to a knight named Gerald. Despite being teased for his size, he perseveres in training and soon proves himself behind the scenes in battle. When Princess Eleanor is kidnapped by the dragon queen while the knights are off protecting the kingdom’s borders, Thomas is knighted and sent on a quest to save her. It proves to be lonely, dangerous, and ultimately full of surprises: he reaches Eleanor on Barren Isle where the dragon queen has her lair, only to discover the princess doesn’t need rescuing—she’s already working on a diplomatic solution. In the meantime, she’s minding the dragon queen’s brood: baby dragons whose personalities are irresistible. And Thomas, an experienced big brother, proves to be an able assistant to Eleanor in both dragon-sitting and diplomacy. There are somber moments in this story—the brief battles show that war is grim and death is hard—but Shutta Crum’s overall tone is light without ever being frothy in this imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable original fantasy featuring a smart, thoughtful protagonist.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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