Rise of the Earth Dragon

illus. by Graham Howells. 96p. (Dragon Masters: Bk. 1). Scholastic/Branches. Aug. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780545646246; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780545646239; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780545646338.
Gr 1–3—In this heavily illustrated chapter book series for newly independent readers, eight-year-old Drake is chosen by the magical Dragon Stone to train dragons along with three other Dragon Masters-in-training. The four students must learn to connect with their dragons and discover their unique powers.
Drake, son of an onion farmer, joins three other children at the castle to secretly train dragons (Rise). Next, the Dragon Masters must cure the sun dragon (Saving) and quest to reclaim a magic stone (Secret). These short chapter books are heavy on action and light on characterization and subtlety. The illustrated format will appeal to children unready for Harry Potter. Review covers these Dragon Master titles: Rise of the Earth Dragon, Saving the Sun Dragon, and Secret of the Water Dragon.

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