Hello friends! I know that Blue 11 Interiors is primarily a decorating blog but I have a wonderful book to share with you today: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson.
The Mark of the Dragonfly is a children’s fantasy-adventure novel. Though its intended audience is readers in grades 4-8 I absolutely loved it! I haven’t read a children’s book in a long time but I am a big fan of young adult fiction (The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, etc.), and I think the Dragonfly is a great read for YA fans. Here’s the description from Amazon:
Fans of The City of Ember will love The Mark of the Dragonfly, an adventure story set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.
Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.
The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.
The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.
Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
"This magnetic middle-grade debut...[is] a page-turner that defies easy categorization and ought to have broad appeal."-Publishers Weekly, starred
"Heart, brains, and courage find a home in a steampunk fantasy worthy of a nod from Baum."-Kirkus Reviews, starred
Now, in the interest of full disclosure (ok, also because I’m really proud of it), the author of the book, Jaleigh Johnson, is my sister-in-law, but I don’t love the book just because I’m related to its creator. Jaleigh has created a beautiful fantasy world called “Solace” to serve as the setting for her story. Her descriptive imagery is fantastic and her main characters are very likeable. Piper is incredibly brave and strong in the same vein as Katniss from Hunger Games and Tris from Divergent.
The steampunk theme is another wonderful element of the book. The inventive steam-engine train setting and Piper’s special abilities to fix machines is a great introduction to steampunk for kids. It blends wonderfully with the fantasy world and the dystopian feel.
The Mark of the Dragonfly was officially release yesterday and I came home to attend the book release party at the Barnes & Noble in Champaign, IL. It was a huge success; in fact, I had intended to buy several copies to bring back for some friends but they ran out of books before I got there! I still waited in the (long) signing line to get to say hi to Jaleigh though.
I highly recommend The Mark of the Dragonfly for yourself or your kids if they’re at a middle grades reading level. Buy it, read it, love it
Here are a few links about the book if you’re interested in reading more:
- Publisher’s Weekly Review
- Kirkus Review
- Interview/Giveaway with Jaleigh Johnson on Lit Stack
- Guest Post: Jaleigh Johnson on the Nook blog