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Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley by Jeff…
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Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley

by Jeff Weigel

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Dragon Girl: The Secret Valley by Jeff Weigel is about a girl doing her best to protect a clutch of dragons. Alanna lives in a valley where dragons are feared, dangerous creatures. They are hunted to protect the people but what if they aren't the vicious monsters the knights will have everyone believe?

Alanna stumbles upon a nest of dragon hatchlings. Believing them to be orphaned, she decides to do what she can to keep them safe, including making a dragon costume so they won't imprint on her. Unfortunately, her disguise is so good that she is mistaken for a dragon hatchling herself.

Much like How to Train Your Dragon 2, Alanna's adventures opens her world up to a different one where dragons are intelligent, social, caring creatures. She is introduced to an explorer who cares for the dragons in the same way she does.

Dragon Girl is a collection of fantasy and steampunk. There are knights and dirigibles. The explorer's dirigible is well thought out and by far my favorite part of the book. I would to experience more adventures upon it.

Unfortunately, the major characters all seem to take turns holding the idiot ball. While I realize the book is aimed at children, it's still lazy plotting to rely on characters being suddenly unable to figure out some basic things just to move the story along. ( )
  pussreboots | Dec 3, 2014 |
An awesome all ages fantasy, steampunk read! This is a long, indepth story divided into chapters that had me so riveted, I read the whole book in one sitting. At first glance the black and white illustrations which appeared somewhat crowded was a bit off-putting before I started but mere pages into the story I was so engrossed I embraced the artwork and didn't think twice about the lack of colour. The main character, Alanna is 11 and completely endearing. Animal lovers will find her a kindred spirit right away. Sharing the spotlight, antagonistic to Alanna yet equally sympathetic is her older brother who is trying to take the role of provider now that they are orphaned. A story suitable for the 8-12 age range but so deep and engrossing I'd heartily recommend to much older readers as well. This is one of those special finds for me and I'm so glad to have read it and can only hope we see Alanna, Hamel, Margolyn (and Griffin!) in a sequel. ( )
  ElizaJane | Oct 14, 2014 |
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Eleven-year-old Alanna and her older brother Hamel are orphans and doing their best to take care of each other until one day Alanna stumbles upon a cave full of dragon eggs. When the eggs hatch with no mother dragon in sight, Alanna decides to take care of the babies herself, even creating a clever costume so that the babies think she, too, is a dragon. With their large appetites and accidental fire burps, Alanna learns that dragon babies are hard work! And when a mama dragon finally comes to claim the babies, Alanna's costume is so convincing that she is swept along for the ride as they journey to Dragon Rock, a mysterious magnetic force that draws dragons of all shapes and sizes to a magical, untouched valley.… (more)

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