Posts tagged ‘parent-child relations’

A MOVING EXPERIENCE

Benjamin Dragon: Awakening (Chronicles of Benjamin Dragon Book 1)

Written by C.G. Cooper

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Ten year old Benjamin Dragon is a very bright child who has already skipped two years in school. He is the son of Tanya and Timothy Dragon, a powerful lawyer and businessman. Their frequent moves plus Benjamin’s small statue and last name provide fertile ground for bullies. On the first day of a new school Benjamin is bullied on the playground. Egging him on to fight, Nathan lies on the ground bloodied and injured. But Benjamin is puzzled because he never even touched the boy.

When his parents urge him to go to the hospital to apologize, Benjamin discovers that he and Nathan have a lot in common. They become good friends, but Nathan is just as puzzled about what happened. When Benjamin is at the scene of a close-call car crash, and the car swerves away to avoid hitting a young girl, Benjamin begins to suspect he had something to do with it. Weird things begin happening. Benjamin swears Nathan to secrecy.

A strange old man named Kennedy pays a visit to Benjamin and explains that there are certain special people in the world. Some have the gift of healing, some the gift of growing, and others the gift of destruction, which roughly translates to telekinesis. He informs Benjamin that he will be trained in his gifts.

Benjamin is scared, but he is elated that he will be attending Camp Walamalican with his friends Nathan and Aaron. There he meets another gifted one named Wally who is a healer. On the other hand, Benjamin will come face to face with a destructor who threatens to corrupt him and destroy people that he loves. Will Benjamin learn how to use his powers? How can he adjust to living a normal live, while coping with extraordinary power?

Recommended for a middle grade, young adult and adult audience. The characters and plot are well developed. Addresses lots of issues pre teens and teens face like bullying, fitting in with peers, being gifted, and getting along with parents. Look forward to more in the series.

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THE POWER OF SUGGESTION

The Hungriest Dragon A Tale of Food and Friendship

Written by Kimberly Segraves

Illustrated by Peipei Liu

HungriestDragon,pic

Lyric had just moved to a new neighborhood. He goes to the playground daily, but on one is ever there and he has been unable to find a friend. One day Lyric hears a growling noise. A red dragon steps out of the bushes. Frightened, Lyric falls from the slide ladder and finds the dragon standing over him. They strike up a conversation. Lyric invites the dragon to his house, but Dragon-Fire is most interested in meeting his pet cat. When they get to the house, Lyric finds his mother napping and his new friend doing his best to eat his cat, Dolly. Lyric tries to distract the dragon from her objective by enticing her with other types of foods, but nothing seems to work. Then Lyric’s mother wakes up and together they hatch a plot.

This story has a page count under seventy and bright colorful illustrations. It appears to be targeted to elementary school children. A few points in the plot concern me. Lyric goes alone to the playground day after day, his mother is home napping while he is away and he does not wake her when he gets home. It seems strange that there are never any children at the playground; no mention is made of school or other community sites where children gather. No doubt this book might appeal to children who like dragons or those who feel lonely after a new move, but I think the narrative might upset some children to see a pet cat chased and tied up. The idea of a lonely boy finding a friend is a good starting point, but the tale veers off in strange directions. I would recommend that parents and teachers read first and be prepared to answer their children’s questions.

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SWITCHEROO

Woof: Two Short Stories

by: Dakota Douglas

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This book consists of two short stories. These two stories are fairly easy to read with clear sentences. I think children aged six through nine will particularly identify with the characters and story line.

In the first book titled, A Dog’s Life, we meet Jeremy who has recently moved into the neighborhood. The children think he is stuck up and don’t ask him to play. For the last few days a dog that he has named Rufus has been following him everywhere. While Jeremy is watching the children play soccer, the dog suddenly jumps up and puts his paws on Jeremy. In a flash Jeremy has shrunk to the size of Rufus, and he is looking at a much larger version of himself. He has switched places with Rufus! As a dog, he diverts the ball and proves that he can really play soccer. The babysitter, Mrs. Peacock, has come to bring Jeremy home for dinner. But Jeremy is now a dog; he can only communicate by saying “Woof.” At the dinner table, he shocks his lawyer parents by flinging his steak to the carpet and clawing the floor. Meanwhile the real Jeremy is kept outside the house. Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Turner take their “son” to the doctor who tells them that he is acting out because they work long hours and don’t pay enough attention to their son. For the next few days, they take the dog, whom they believe to be their son, to the cinema, fairs and bowling. The parents reluctantly agree to keep the dog. Jeremy spends his days chasing cats and scrounging around looking for scraps of food. He begs his dog Rufus to change places and switch roles. Will he agree or will Jeremy be forced to remain a dog forever?

The second story is named, A Boy’s Best Friend.  In the beginning of the story, Jeremy is paying little attention to his dog Rufus because he is busy doing homework. Rufus is bored; he is tired of chasing cats. Later on, Jeremy and his dog Rufus are at the dinner table with Mr. and Mrs. Turner. Mr. Turner reads about a robbery in the neighborhood, but nobody seems to pay attention, Shortly after, Rufus discovers a hole under the fence which allows him to venture forth in the neighborhood. While Jeremy was at school and his parents at work, Rufus remembers seeing three men load boxes in a van. He now knows they must be the burglars. Frantically, he tries to get Jeremy’s attention and tell him, but he is unsuccessful. Can you guess what he will do to get Jeremy to follow him? Suddenly Jeremy Turner is acting strangely. Mrs. Peacock threatens to quit and chaos reigns. Will the burglars be apprehended?

What will happen to the members of the Turner family? Can things ever return to normal? You will have to read these two exciting adventures to find out.

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