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The dragon of Lonely Island
Rebecca Rupp
Children's Fiction RUPP

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Drawing upon standard adventure-fantasy conventions‘an isolated island, a secret room, a mysterious key‘first-time novelist Rupp crafts a series of genial if not altogether original stories-within-a-story. Hannah (12), Zachary (10) and Sarah Emily (eight and a half) travel with their mystery-writing mother to Great-great-aunt Mehitabel's house on an island off the coast of Maine for a summer getaway. Their dashing old aunt isn't there, but the three discover an even more fantastic character‘a tridrake (three-headed dragon) living hidden in a cave. Each of the three heads awakens to tell a story about a child that befriended it in the past. Their stories teach the siblings needed lessons: Hannah comes to accept the responsibilities that come with being eldest by hearing about the travails of underappreciated Mei-lan in ancient China; Zachary learns the value of sharing through the tale of a 19th-century London orphan captured by pirates; and meek Sarah Emily finds gumption after discovering that the once timid Hitty, who learns self-reliance after she, her brother and their father crash-land during an attempt to fly around the world, is in fact Mehitabel. None of the stories is particularly memorable (especially not Mei-lan's, which draws upon one too many hackneyed folktale stereotypes), and the narrative frame, which strives for a classic timelessness, can feel overly tame or quaint. A modest diversion for middle-grade fantasy fans. Ages 8-11. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Hannah
Age: 12
Goes with her mother and siblings to a relative's house for the summer; meets a three-headed dragons that teaches lessons through storytelling; learns about responsibility of being the eldest.

Age: 10
Hannah's brother; the three-headed dragon teaches him about sharing.

Sarah Emily
Age: 8
Hannah and Zachary's sister; the three-headed dragon teaches her gumption.

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