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The Dragonling

The Dragonling

5.0 1
by Jackie French Koller

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Derek risks death and the anger of his people in trying to return a baby dragon to the Valley of the Dragons.


Derek risks death and the anger of his people in trying to return a baby dragon to the Valley of the Dragons.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-- Darek, nine, is envious of his older brother Clep's first dragonquest in spite of its inherent danger. When the hunters return to the village with their prize, the body of a Great Blue (one of the largest and fiercest of dragons), they also bring the body of Clep's best friend. Later that night, Darek discovers a whimpering young dragonling emerging from the dead beast's pouch. In spite of his lifelong conditioning to hate dragons, he finds himself befriending the orphan; in helping him find the Valley of the Dragons, he learns that the few dragons left in the valley have no natural enmity toward humans and need not be feared or hunted. In a final confrontation between creatures and villagers, Darek speaks up for harmony, and changes the future for them all. Simple and predictable stuff, indeed, but while this book lacks the depth or subtlety of Jane Yolen's or Anne McCaffrey's dragon books, it is entirely suitable for the intended beginning chapter-book audience. Full-page black-and-white drawings are scattered among the brief chapters, depicting villagers in vaguely medieval dress and a thoroughly adorable dragonling. Darek and his new friend are sympathetic characters, at once brave and timid, charging forward while hanging back, like children everywhere. Young readers will identify with Darek, share his fondness for the dragon, and applaud their final success. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dragonling Series
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from: Chapter 3

Darek struggled to close the barn door, pushing the dragonling back in.

"You've got to wait here," he said. "And don't make a sound."

"Rrronk," said the dragon.

"You don't understand," said Darek.

"They'll kill you if they find you." He gave a final push, then pulled the door tight and lowered the latch. He could hear the orphan's muffled whimperes on the other side. He had to hurry or someone else might wake and hear. Darek crept up to his room, dressed quickly, then tiptoed down to the back room where the weapons were kept. He slung his bow over his shoulder and strapped his quiver of arrows in place. On his way through the kitchen he filled a sack with supplies. It would be a journey of many days.

Suddenly he stopped and wondered. What do dragonlings eat? Perhaps such a young one would still need milk. He would have to bring a female yuke. Dorlass, whose calf had been born dead, had milk to spare, but she would not nurse a dragonling. Darek packed a waterskin so he could feed the creature by hand.

Darek paused in the kitchen doorway and looked back. His stomach twisted into a knot. What was he doing, anyway? What would his father say? Risking his life to save a dragon? An enemy of his people? A dragon that he might even have to face one day on his own dragonquest? He could still turn back. It was not too late. Perhaps he should just let the creature be found and killed. After all, what more did a dragon deserve?

Darek walked slowly out to the barn. The soft, hiccuping sound still came from inside. He opened the door and the dragonling rushed out and rubbed happily against him.

"Thrrummm, thrrummmm, thrrummmm," it said.

Copyright © 1990 by Jackie Lynn Koller

Meet the Author

Jackie French Koller has been a storyteller since the sixth grade, when she amused her friends by spinning tales on the playground. She has also edited a children's newspaper, taught writing in public schools, and studied art. Ms. Koller lives in Groton, Massachusetts, with her husband and three children. She is the author of The Dragonling and A Dragon in the Family, both available from Minstrel?#174; Books.

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Dragonling 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first chapter book I read to my son who is a first grader. He loved it! It has opened a new world of books for us whose stories are fun and have morals. 'The Dragonling' was one of the books recomended in the book 'Raising Lifelong Learners' by Lucy Calkins