The Fire Within
By Chris d'Lacey
(Orchard, Hardcover, 9780439672436, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 2005
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When David moves in with Liz and Lucy, he discovers a collection of hand crafted, clay dragons that comes to life and has magical powers. David's personalized dragon, Gadzooks, can forecast the future, and inspires him to write a story which reveals the truth behind an unsolved mystery close to home. The story has an unhappy ending, and when David realizes the consequences of it he is angry. Then David finds Gadzooks crying and near death, and he discovers that these special dragons die when they are not loved. Soon David is forced to save his friend and unlock the powers of the fire within.
Chris d'Lacey is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Last Dragon Chronicles: THE FIRE WITHIN, ICEFIRE, FIRE STAR, THE FIRE ETERNAL, DARK FIRE, FIRE WORLD, and THE FIRE ASCENDING. Additionally, he is the author of the middle-grade series The Dragons of Wayward Crescent, also published by Orchard Books. He lives in Devon, England, with his wife, where he is at work on his next book.
Visit www.scholastic.com/LastDragonChronicles to learn more about Chris d'Lacey's books.
d'Lacey, Chris. The Fire Within. 340p. Scholastic/Orchard. 2005. Tr $12.95. ISBN 0-439-67343-0. LC 2004058327.
Gr 5-8This British import has a satisfying domestic reality, spiced with some very unusual dragons. When college student David Rain begins rooming at the home of Liz Pennykettle and her 11-year-old daughter, Lucy, he becomes aware of a variety of unusual happenings connected to the clay dragons that Liz creates and sells. As David slowly learns about the family's past and abilities, he has to decide whether to accept Gadzooks, the special dragon Liz made for him. Lucy's attempts to save the neighborhood squirrels from a scheming neighbor are a second plot focus. A fictional story David writes for Lucy about these animals mirrors real developments in their lives, creating an unusual story-within-a-story. In spite of the dragon's eye staring out from the cover, readers may not find what they expect herethere are no magical battles or world-spanning quests to be found. Instead, d'Lacey has created a realistic relationship among David, Liz, and the appealingly strong-willed Lucy, and his dragon's small size is mirrored in the limited magic it performs. Information about the dragons' past and the promise of further stories from David leave ample room for the sequel. Fire Within is a smooth read and an original addition to dragon lore.Beth L. Meister, Pleasant View Elementary School, Franklin, WI
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