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Dragons in a bag
2018
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A witch neighbor enlists young Jaxon and his friends to help deliver a clutch of baby dragons to the safe magical world where they belong, a quest that is thrown into chaos by the trio's inability to follow strict dragon-care rules. By the award-winning author of Bird. Simultaneous eBook. - (Baker & Taylor)

The dragon's out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author!

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she's not his grandmother--but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they'll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don't let them out of the bag, and don't feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?

AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR - (Random House, Inc.)

Author Biography

Zetta Elliott was born in Canada and moved to the United States in 1994. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York and Chicago. Her essays have appeared in the Huffington Post, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. She is the author of over twenty-five books for young readers, including the award-winning picture books Bird and Melena's Jubilee. She is also a contibutor to We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, published by Crown Books for Young Readers. Elliott is an advocate for greater diversity and equity in publishing. A longtime resident of Brooklyn, she currently lives in Illinois. Learn more at zettaelliott.com. - (Random House, Inc.)

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Booklist Reviews

Jaxon and his mom have been a team for as long as he can remember. When Jaxon's mother needs to deal with a crooked landlord trying to evict them, she takes Jaxon to Ma, the woman who raised her. Jaxon is surprised and scared—his mother is leaving him with a stranger? And it gets weirder: on her kitchen table lies a package with stamps from Madagascar all over it . . . and it moves. Jaxon is intrigued. Ma, who is a witch responsible for protecting magical creatures, invites Jaxon to take the package back to the magic place where it needs to be. Dragons, dinosaurs, an invisible man, and more await Jaxon as he discovers where his family comes from and where his grandfather has been. Readers will relate to Jaxon's city life, diverse friends, and family dynamic, and Elliott does a wonderful job of interweaving fantasy, adventure, and character relationships. The language is not too complex for new fantasy readers and speeds right along. A wonderful, and wonderfully inclusive, fantasy for any collection. Grades 2-4. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 2–5—When nine-year-old Jaxon's mother goes to court to fight an eviction order, she leaves him with a grouchy older woman she calls Ma. As it turns out, Ma is a witch, and she's been sent a trio of dragon hatchlings that she must return to their home. After a rocky start together and an incident with a glitchy transporter, Ma ends up stuck in the Mesozoic era while Jaxon is returned to Brooklyn to find help and protect the baby dragons. With the aid of Ma's network of friends, Jax manages to reunite with Ma in the realm of magic. A few loose ends leave this story open for future installments. Historically, most chapter books featuring magical tales of witches and dragons center the experiences of white protagonists and characters; Elliott offers something much needed in the genre: a black protagonist in an urban setting. Elliott skillfully introduces themes about creating positive change, examines issues of othering and the fear of differences, and touches upon the complexities of family, gentrification, and segregation. VERDICT A promising start to a new series, this fantasy should find a home in all libraries.—Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

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