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Annotation: On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas stat... more
Catalog Number: #219704
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 384
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-286949-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-8402-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-286949-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-8402-3
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A young woman finds herself in the center of a struggle involving a prophecy about a coming war between humans and dragons.Despite constant hard work, Sarah Dewhurst and her father find themselves in dire straits on their farm near Frome, Washington. Even though tensions exist between the two species, the dragon her father has hired seems to be their final hope. Nevertheless, Sarah and the dragon, Kazimir, forge a connection—even though he’s a blue dragon of Russian extraction, it’s 1957, and the Cold War is raging. Sarah, a biracial teen with a white father (her deceased mother was black), has enough difficulties in their community; she befriends Japanese American Jason Inagawa, whose family returned to the area after being interned during World War II, but without his mother, who died in Minidoka. At the same time, Malcolm, a young white man from a cult that worships dragons, is on the road, pursuing a mission and being trailed by two mysterious FBI agents who seek to halt whatever the Believers are planning. It becomes clear that Sarah is to play a central role in the prophecy’s dénouement. This fast-paced narrative has elements of alternate history, fantasy, multiverse, and apocalyptic literature. The many plot twists and multiple perspectives create an intensity that makes this a page-turner. In addition to the action, themes of teens coping with racism, homophobia, and grief are interwoven.A gripping, powerful novel of courage and resilience. (Fantasy. 14-18)
Publishers Weekly
Too deeply in debt to engage human farmhands, 15-year-old Sarah Dewhurst-s father is forced to hire a dragon to clear their farm-s fields for planting. With Cold War tensions running high in an alternate 1957 America, employing a dragon, especially a rare Russian blue, is sure to be an unpopular move, but Sarah, who is biracial (black and white), already experiences daily racism in small-town Frome, Wash. Kazimir, the dragon, soon shows a mysterious interest in Sarah, offering protection from an unknown killer and indicating she may be the prophesied key to averting an apocalypse. In Canada, meanwhile, a teen called Malcolm, trained by a dragon-worshipping cult from childhood as an assassin, makes his way toward Frome on what he considers a -blessed-
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 8 Up Amid 1950s Cold War tension in their rural Washington town, high schoolers Sarah and Jason are just trying to survive racial harassment from the local deputy and, of course, the dragons. The conflicts run hot, prophecy is tricky to interpret, and things are not as they appear. Secrets, betrayals, and discoveries pile up as the first section of the story slams into the second half with a shocking plot twist. Weaving between historical fiction and science fiction, Ness tackles the terrifying uncertainty of the Cold War, the pre-Civil Rights racial tension, and the consequences of Japanese internment camps, then seamlessly blends LGBTQIA issues and a host of injustices without ever preaching. Featuring multiple protagonists, this story takes readers to two different universes, explains dragons in scientific terms, and retells the end of the Cold War for at least one of our worlds. Exciting, nonstop action and gloriously varied twists in the narrative will keep readers guessing all the way through to the breathless ending. VERDICT A highly recommended addition to any library from an acclaimed master of his craft. Kristen Rademacher, Marist High School, Chicago
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* It's 1957, and tensions between Russia and the U.S. are strained. In Frome, Washington, Sarah Dewhurst waits with her father in a gas station to meet the new worker they've just hired to help on their failing farm. In Canada, an assassin raised by a religious cult makes his way south while two FBI agents try to catch his trail. These tense, mysteriously connected Cold War era story lines would be enough to hook any audience, but that hired hand that Sarah and her dad are waiting for? He's a centuries-old Russian blue dragon named Kazimir, and he brings with him knowledge of a prophecy that may change the course of history. Ness (And the Ocean Was Our Sky, 2018) has never been afraid to push boundaries when it comes to genre exploration, but this is a truly magnificent piece of fiction. There is not a single wasted moment in the tightly wrought story, and Ness has built an absorbing, complex alternate history where dragons have always lived alongside humans. It is through their mythos that he casts a sharp eye on the prejudices of the 1950s and the earth-shattering fears of the Cold War era. The concept is striking, the characters compelling, and the story enthralling. Even for Ness, this is a singular effort.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Ness has been crossing genres and circumventing expectations ever since he followed up his dystopian Chaos Walking trilogy with the Carnegie-winning, best-selling A Monster Calls (2011). Add dragons, always popular, into that mix, and he'll be unstoppable.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (5/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 9-12

On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station for the dragon he'd hired to help on the farm... Sarah Dewhurst and her father, outcasts in their little town of Frome, Washington, are forced to hire a dragon to work their farm, something only the poorest of the poor ever have to resort to. The dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye, though. Sarah can't help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn't have a soul but who is seemingly intent on keeping her safe. Because the dragon knows something she doesn't. He has arrived at the farm with a prophecy on his mind. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents in hot pursuit--and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.

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