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Dragon Rider
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Gr 4-6-Cornelia Funke's novel (Scholastic/The Chicken House, 2004) about Firedrake, a young silver dragon who has lived peacefully in an isolated Scottish valley with other dragons and assorted fabulous creatures for many years is a charming fantasy and a listening delight. When the dragons discover that humans plan to take over their valley, Firedrake and a feisty, headstrong brownie named Sorrel set out to find the Rim of Heaven, the legendary home of silver dragons, rumored to be in the Himalayan Mountains. The two are soon joined by Ben, an orphan, who helps the pair obtain a map to the area and escape the perils of the city. The quest to find the ancient homeland is soon complicated by the realization that Nettlebrand, an evil artificial golden dragon whose sole purpose in life is to hunt silver dragons, is following their every move. A cast of sympathetic humans and fabulous creatures, elves, sea serpents, and a djinni help and sidetrack Firedrake in his journey. The urgency of the mission is carefully conveyed through Brendan Fraser's expert pacing and timing. His boyish charm and irresistible enthusiasm gives each character a distinct voice and personality. The quick humor and intellect of the characters is handled deftly by Fraser. Listeners will be carried along by the narrator's excitement.-Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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