Ancient, strange, and lovely by Susan Fletcher315 pgs.
Target audience: Ages 8-12
As long as Bryn can remember the members of her family have possessed the unique talent of kenning or communicating with birds. Each child receives a bird at the age of five, Bryn’s is a cockatiel named Stella. After Bryn’s biologist mother disappears while on a research mission in Alaska, her father leaves Bryn and her younger sister with their Aunt Penn while he goes off to find out what happened. Late one night a mysterious thumping noise coming from the basement sends Bryn and Stella exploring through boxes of research material sent from Alaska. Amongst them she finds an egg, a very large egg which produces a faint thrumming noise. This egg is connected to her mom and is perhaps why she suddenly vanished and must be kept secret from Aunt Penn, so Bryn confides in the only person she can trust, her mom’s lab assistant, Taj. When word gets out to the wrong people about this egg and what the creature might be, things spiral quickly out of control putting Bryn and her critter in terrible danger. She must get to Alaska and find her mom or someone who will help to protect the critter. Her schoolmate, Sasha, agrees to drive her up to a ferry in Washington. Because of her ability to ken with birds, Bryn and her baby dragon form a strong bond. This stand alone title in the “Dragon Chronicles” series written more than ten years after “The sign of the dove,” proves that the author is a true master of the dragon tale. Bryn is a brave, genuine, modern heroine, one whom young readers will love. The baby dragon is a character as real as any person and will tug at the heart strings. It is a wild ride which will have readers on the edge of their seats. (Book provided for review by Children's Lit - www.childrenslit.com)