Saturday, July 13, 2019

Summer is for Reading! Dragons In A Bag

Summer is for reading!

I just finished reading Zetta Elliott's Dragons In A Bag (2018), a young middle-grade fantasy novel. And check out the cover:

Notice anything unusual? As a teacher or parent or family member of young readers, did you know that it is unusual to find African American/Black main characters in fantasy books?

Teachers, this book will welcome all the fantasy lovers in your classroom. Jaxon's time travel and dragon chasing will resonate with all fantasy geeks (like me) and Elliott's authenticity with her main characters will definitely be appreciated by African American/Black young readers. What's that? Your students are mostly White? Even more reason to add this to your classroom library. African American/Black fantasy main characters need to be normalized for White kids.

Although I couldn't find a guided reading level officially for this book, I'd estimate it at a Level N, which puts it smack in the middle of third grade. However, fourth and fifth grade teachers, you should definitely add this to your classroom libraries too (especially if you do a fantasy unit) - not just for our lower level readers, but because on- and above-grade level readers also need to read this and either feel themselves or feel African American/Black fantasy main characters normalized. And all students will enjoy the characters and plot.

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