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|Night sky dragons|
Author: Peet, Mal
Yazul loves making kites in his village along the Silk Road. But when the village is attacked by bandits, can he use his kite-making skills to scare the bandits away and save the village?
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 170755
Kirkus Reviews (+) (09/01/14)
School Library Journal (10/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2014 Gr 2–4—This rich, engaging story is a welcome addition to historical fiction, introducing life along the Silk Road. Yazul lives in a han, a walled town where merchants could find shelter and safety, of which his father is the lord. Yazul's father disapproves of his interest in kite-making and wants him to learn to run the han instead. When bandits lay siege to the town, however, it is Yazul's skill and ingenuity that provide a solution and, ultimately, inspire his father's admiration. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, creating a realistic setting, a quick-moving plot, and sympathetic characters with minimal text. Throughout the book, watercolor illustrations perfectly complement the action while providing additional plot and historical details that allow readers to imagine more fully the time and place. Although the latter aren't specified, the uniqueness of the story and its setting make it a wonderful offering for readers looking for a far-flung, adventure-filled story.—Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2014 Yazul lives in a han, a walled settlement that shelters travelers on the Silk Road. Though his widowed father, the lord of the han, is rather distant, the boy enjoys making and flying kites with his grandfather. After a prank goes wrong and causes his grandmother to drop a precious bowl, Yazul’s father accuses him of idleness and orders him to work as a kitchen drudge. Then bandits besiege the settlement, which nearly runs out of food and water. Fortunately, Yazul comes up with an ingenious plan to drive their enemies away. Though the setting’s time and place aren’t precisely determined, this nicely designed and illustrated volume offers a story with broad appeal. Yazul and his grandfather are sympathetic characters, but so is his strict father, given the weight of his experiences and responsibilities. Yazul’s pleasure in gaining his approval is clear. Created with pen and watercolor, Benson’s detailed illustrations help readers envision Yazul’s world. A well-knit story that reads aloud beautifully. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2015 Young Yazul lives in a han, a fortress of safety along the Silk Road where travelers and traders stop, trade, and refresh themselves. He’s particularly close to his beloved grandfather, who helps him make fantastical kites, and who indulges Yazul in his penchant for pranks, both pastimes of which Yazul’s stern father disapproves. When bandits arrive and surround the isolated han, however, Yazul and his grandfather’s creative thinking may prove the key to defeating them. There’s an old-fashioned flavor to this long-ago-and-far-away tale, and that distance and the slowness of the tale’s initial pace initially impair engagement. Once the pieces start falling into place, though, the trickster elements of the story will intrigue readers, and even a low-key bandit-routing such as this has some kid appeal. Decoratively bordered images, primarily on tawny backgrounds that suggest vellum, employ thickly brushed watercolors in scenes dominated by earth tones; the hues are sometimes too dustily undifferentiated for impact in the larger scenes, but the closeup portraits and monochromatic vignettes evince more personality. There’s not much material for young people about this place and time, and Yazul’s experiences might provide a personal entrée to a broader exploration. DS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.