Review Blog

Nov 13 2020

Take to the skies by Anh Do

cover image

Illus. by James Hart. Sky Dragon. Allen & Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760876364.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. When her parents are killed in a house fire, from which she is pulled with scarring facial injuries and her brother left in a coma, Amber finds that she has new powers. The fire began with a purple ball of fire hurtling form the sky, burning the house to the ground. Always interested in insects and their habitat, she finds that she can to some extent, communicate with them, initially able to direct where they go, using simple mind messages. So she foils the bullies as they pour milk over her, directing a dragonfly to mess Trish's hair, resulting in a public down grading.
A well scripted story, Do has got this genre to a 't', resulting in a fast paced adventure story, full of interest and mayhem, with believable characters that readers can identify from their own family and school groups. Amber receives some stick from a trio of bullies because of how she looks and her unusual interests, but you know that they will get some sort of come-uppance by the end of the story. Justin who shares Amber's interest is a good sidekick, loyal and supportive when needed.
Anh Do is now seemingly churning out these series for the mid primary readership, full of recognisable characters, high adventure and pace, and illustrated by James Hart, adding a layer of excitement and wit to the story. The second in the series is 'coming soon' but readers will be able to turn to the other involving series penned by Do for Allen & Unwin: Wolf girl, Mythrix, and Eboy. Reading group notes are available.
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy.
Fran Knight

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