ANYA AND THE DRAGON
Middle Grade, Versify (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 2019
A 2020 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book!
Handpicked by Amazon kids’ books editor, Seira Wilson, for Prime Book Box – a children’s subscription that inspires a love of reading.
This lush tale of magic and dragons is a gem for any adventure-seeking middle grader and perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time.
Anya and the Dragon is the story of fantasy and mayhem in tenth century Eastern Europe, where headstrong eleven-year-old Anya is a daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When her family’s livelihood is threatened by a bigoted magistrate, Anya is lured in by a friendly family of fools, who promise her money in exchange for helping them capture the last dragon in Kievan Rus. This seems easy enough, until she finds out that the scary old dragon isn't as old—or as scary—as everyone thought. Now Anya is faced with a choice: save the dragon, or save her family.
"With this clever, fast-paced debut, Pasternack draws upon the myth and folklore of Kievan Rus’ to deliver a delightful tale.…that never loses its sense of fun or wonder.”—Publishers Weekly
"Pasternack’s debut is an irresistible blend of moral quandaries, magic, humor, danger, and bravery. Imaginative details bestow a fairy-tale-like quality to the story, which will effortlessly ensnare historical fantasy fans."—Booklist
"[T]ruly likable characters in [an] original setting. This delightful series opener is an exciting blend of Russian and Jewish traditions."—Kirkus
"A strong heroine and an unusual setting make this worth adding to most crowded fantasy shelves." —School Library Journal
"Pasternack eagerly depicts life in an tenth-century Russian village imbued with magic and folklore, riddled with many references to Anya’s family’s religion, their Jewish traditions, and the discrimination they face. The plot keeps readers on their toes with skillful pacing....Jewish readers may find kindred spirits in Anya’s culture, and fans of a Russian setting won’t be disappointed by this immersive novel that ends in justice."—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books