Dragons are enduring figures in fantasy for all ages. They represent our fears and our imagination, embody heroism and inspire quests. The titles in this collection portray dragons in a wide variety of roles and endow them with many different abilities. Their stories range from the humorous to the tragic, reliving traditional tales of dragons or reinventing popular conceptions of the species.
The selections have been divided into several categories. Anthropomorphic dragons, includes dragons who speak, reason, and may have a complete culture of their own or they may coexist in human society. Raising dragons includes those stories of finding or hatching a dragon, often including a psychic bond between the dragon and human. There are traditional Western tales of Dragons as monsters and stories of Not so monstrous dragons as well as stories based on Asian dragons. There are also Dragons of the imagination, which help us face our fears or explore new ideas.
Most books are located in the School (S-) Collection (Room 112, Main Library) of the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL). However, books may also be located at the Center for Children's Books and older books may be located in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library (Room 346, Main Library), or in the Oak Street Facility. To verify the location of an item, please search for the book in the Online Library Catalog. If you require assistance locating an item, please ask for assistance at the SSHEL Information Desk.
Baker, E.D. Dragon Kiss. 2009.
Audun, a dragon from the Icy North, encounters obstacles as he pursues the love of his life--a human girl who can transform into a dragon using magic.
Funke, Cornelia. Dragon Rider. 2004.
With the help of his friends, Firedrake goes on a quest to find the mythical Rim of Heaven and save the dragons from the encroaching humans.This book is also available online through the Online Library Catalog as a downloadable audiobook.
Gannett, Ruth Stiles. My Father's Dragon. 1948.
With the help of a friendly cat and his own quick wits, a boy saves the baby dragon held captive on Wild Island.
Elmer and the Dragon. 1950.
The Dragons of Blueland. 1951
George, Jessica Day. Dragon Slippers. 2007.
Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom.
Dragon Flight. 2008.
Dragon Spear. 2009.
Haber, Melissa Glenn. Beyond the Dragon Portal. 2005.
Sadie must conquer her fear to rescue her sister Phoebe, kidnapped and held in Dragonland. But her sister has become a pawn in a war between the dragons and the winged warriors and Sadie learns that courage, innocence and friendship are not enough to bring peace.
Hartman, Rachel. Seraphina. 2012.
In a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Howell, Troy. The Dragon of Cripple Creek. 2011.
When Kat, her father, and brother visit an old gold mine that has been turned into an amusement park, she falls down a shaft and meets an ancient dragon, the last of his kind, and inadvertently triggers a twenty-first century gold rush.
Jordan, Sophie. Firelight. 2010.
When sixteen-year-old Jacinda, who can change into a dragon, is forced to move away from her community of shapeshifters and start a more normal life, she falls in love with a boy who proves to be her most dangerous enemy.
Levine, Gail Carson. A Tale of Two Castles. 2011.
Twelve-year-old Elodie journeys to Two Castles in hopes of studying acting but instead becomes apprentice to a dragon, who teaches her to be observant and use reasoning, thus helping her to uncover who is poisoning the king.
Mayer, Mercer. Whinnie the Lovesick Dragon. 1986.
Whinnie is in love with Alfred, a knight. But her plan to catch him and explain ends in disaster. However, with the help of a wizard, Whinnie has a big surprise...and wins her knight!
Pierce, Tamora. Wild Magic. 1992.
In the first adventure of Daine, the wild-mage, she rescues Kit, a baby dragon. Although it is not apparent until the final book that dragons are capable of human speech and have a separate civilization, Kit is obviously intelligent and responds to human behavior as she accompanies Daine on her adventures.
Sequels (The Immortals):
The Emperor Mage. 1995.
The Realms of the Gods. 1996
Sutherland, Tui. The Dragonet Prophecy. 2012.
A secret movement is determined to bring an end to the long years of war between the seven dragon tribes, with the help of a prophecy -- a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice. Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, they find that what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the planners had intended . . .
Sequels (Wings of Fire):
The Lost Heir. 2012.
The Hidden Kingdom. 2013.
The Dark Secret. 2013.
Vaughn, Carrie. Voices of Dragons. 2010.
In a parallel world where humans and dragons live in a state of cold war, seventeen-year-old Kay and her dragon friend, Artegal, struggle to find a way to show that dragons and humans can co-exist.
Wrede, Patricia. Dealing with Dragons. 1990.
Cimorene is tired of her life as a princess and discovers she much prefers being captured by a dragon – permanently! Her friend Kazul becomes king of the dragons and is an important figure in the following stories.
Sequels (Enchanted Forest Chronicles):
Searching for Dragons. 1991.
Calling on Dragons. 1993.
Talking to Dragons. 1993
Yep, Laurence. City of Fire. 2009.
Twelve-year-old Scirye and her companions travel to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island created by magic, where they enlist the help of volcano goddess Pele in an attempt to stop an evil dragon and a mysterious man from altering the universe.
Sequels (City Trilogy):
City of Ice. 2011.
City of Death. 2013.
Zahn, Timothy. Dragon and Slave. 2005.
In the first Dragonback adventure, Jack is just trying to survive when he meets Draycos, poet-warrior and dragon symbiote. In this story, their third adventure, they are making yet another attempt to find information about the mercenaries who are trying to destroy Draycos' people.
DRAGONS OF THE IMAGINATION
Banks, Kate. Max's Dragon. 2008.
Many unusual and unexpected things happen while Max plays with his invisible dragon.
Christian, Peggy. The Bookstore Mouse. 1995.
With the help of the bookstore mouse, Cervantes, Sigfried defeats the evil dragon, Censor.
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Cooper, Susan. Matthew's Dragon. 1991.
One night, the dragon in Matthew’s bedtime-story comes alive and together the two have a magical and colorful adventure.
D'Lacey, Chris. The Fire Within. 2005.
David Rain's new landlady seems like a nice person...but why does she have all those clay dragons? As David discovers the magical secret of the dragons, he becomes inspired to write the stories he is experiencing.
Sequels (The Last Dragon Chronicles):
Fire Star. 2006.
The Fire Eternal. 2008.
Not available at UIUC
Dark Fire. 2009.
Fire World. 2011.
The Fire Ascending. 2012.
Korschunow, Irina. Adam Draws Himself a Dragon. 1986.
Adam has lost his self-confidence because of the constant bullying he endures at school. But when he makes friends with the dragon who appears in his drawing, he slowly regains his confidence and learns new skills. Recommended by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.
Pitcher, Caroline. The Winter Dragon. 2003.
One winter day, Rory makes a dragon and in the night it comes alive. Throughout the winter, the dragon teaches Rory to face his fears and be brave, but when summer comes the dragon must go to his own place.
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Schaefer, Carole Lexa. Dragon Dancing. 2007.
A group of children pretend that they are a dragon to celebrate their classmate’s birthday.
Broach, Elise. Hiding Hoover. 2005.
Daddy always says, "no pets," but when his two children find a marvelous new pet, they find ingenious ways to hide him.
Coville, Bruce. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher: A Magic Shop Book. 1991.
Jeremy finds a marvelous egg at the Magic Shop and is given a special task.
Cowell, Cressida. How to be a Pirate. 2005.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III's adventures continue. In this tale, he and his pet dragon Toothless join the rest of the pirates-in-training to discover a wonderful treasure – but first the Hiccup will have to fight traitorous Skullions and curses before he can discover the true treasure.
Not available at UIUC
How to Train Your Dragon. 2004.
How to Speak Dragonese. 2005.
How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse. 2007.
How to Twist a Dragon’s Tale. 2008.
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A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons. 2009.
Not available at UIUC
How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm. 2010.
How to Break a Dragon’s Heart. 2011.
How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword. 2012.
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How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel. 2013.
Downer, Ann. Hatching Magic. 2003.
Theodora is fascinated by wyverns, or dragons. But when her dreams come true, she finds life much more complicated than she had expected.
The Dragon of Never-Was
Gray, Luli. Falcon's Egg. 1995.
Falcon discovers a mysterious egg and through the dragon that hatches she explores a world of magic she never knew existed.
Falcon and the Carousel of Time. 2005.
Joy, Margaret. Gran's Dragon. 1980.
Gran brings home the most amazing things from an old rummage store…and one day she finds a dragon! With the help of her grandson George, they raise the miniature dragon and find a new home for it - and for Gran.
Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Sock Drawer. 2008.
Cousins Jesse and Daisy always knew they would have a magical adventure, but they are not prepared when the "thunder egg" Jesse has found turns out to be a dragon egg that is about to hatch.
Sequels (Dragon Keepers):
The Dragon in the Driveway. 2009.
The Dragon in the Library. 2010.
The Dragon in the Volcano. 2011.
The Dragon in the Sea. 2012.
The Dragon in the North Pole. 2013.
Koller, Jackie French. A Dragon in the Family. 1993.
In his first adventure, The Dragonling, Darek saved the baby dragon Zantor. Now he must deal with the anger of his father and the suspicion and hostility of the village.
McKinley, Robin. Dragonhaven. 2007.
When Jake Mendoza, who lives in the Smokehill National Park where his father runs the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies, goes on his first solo overnight in the park, he finds an infant dragon whose mother has been killed by a poacher.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. 2003.
When Eragon finds a strange stone and it hatches into a dragon, his life changes forever as he becomes involved in exciting, dangerous, and magical adventures.
Pierce, Tamora. Shatterglass. 2003.
In the fourth book of Pierce's series, The Circle Opens, Tris rescues a glass dragon, created by a new mage. With various types of magic running through her, Chime is an intelligent and beautiful creature. When Tris tracks down a criminal and is attacked, Chime helps rescue her.
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Robertson, M. P. The Egg. 2001.
George finds an unusual egg in the chicken house and when it hatches into a dragon he teaches it all the things young dragons must know.
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The Great Dragon Rescue. 2004.
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The Dragon Snatcher. 2005.
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The Dragon and the Gruesome Twosome. 2008.
Sutcliff, Rosemary. The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup. Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. 1993.
One day on the beach, a minstrel finds a dragon egg and helps it hatch with his music. Together, he and Lucky are happy, until his dragon pet is stolen. The minstrel finally finds his pet in the king's palace and to get him back, performs a great service for the king.
Thomas, Shelley Moore. Good Night, Good Knight. 2000.
Three lonely dragons are going to bed. Who will bring them a drink of water? And tuck them in? And read them a story? The Good Knight, of course!
Get Well, Good Knight. 2002.
Happy Birthday, Good Knight. 2006.
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Take Care, Good Knight. 2006.
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A Cold Winter's Good Knight. 2008.
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A Good Knight's Rest. 2011.
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Wilson, Gina. Ignis. Illustrated by P. J. Lynch. 2001.
Ignis is the fastest runner and the best flyer of all the young dragons. But he cannot breathe fire and leaves home to find out what he really is. With the help of many animals and a young girl, Ignis discovers himself.
Yolen, Jane. Dragon's Blood. 1982.
Jakkin, a Keeper in a dragon nursery, steals and trains a fighting dragon in the hope of winning his freedom.
Sequels (Pit Dragons):
Heart's Blood. 1984.
A Sending of Dragons. 1987.
Dragon's Heart. 2009.
DRAGONS AS MONSTERS
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Donaldson, Julia. Room on the Broom. 2001.
One by one, a witch invites the animals who find her missing belongings to join her on her broom. When the broom breaks and a dragon appears, the animals come to her rescue and then help the witch make a new broomstick with room for all her friends.
Haskell, Merrie. Handbook for Dragon Slayers. 2013.
Yearning for life in a cloistered scriptorium, thirteen-year-old Princess Matilda, whose lame foot brings fear of the evil eye, escapes her scheming cousin Ivo and joins her servant Judith and an old friend, Parz, in hunting dragons and writing about them.
Hodges, Margaret. Saint George and the Dragon. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1984.
Classic tale of St. George and the monstrous dragon he defeats through courage and perseverance. Adapted from Spenser's Faerie Queene.
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Krause, Ute. Oscar and the Very Hungry Dragon. 2010.
No princess is around to be fed to the dragon so Little Oscar's name is pulled from the hat. Learn how the boy's cleverness comes to his rescue!
Manushkin, Fran. Moon Dragon. 1982.
The terrible dragon has eaten everything but a clever mouse. As she plays tricks to get food, the dragon becomes convinced that she is "THE MOST TERRIBLE THING IN THE WORLD" and the little mouse's last trick sends the dragon to the moon, where he will forever drop crumbs of cheese to her and her family.
Marshall, Archibald. The Dragon. Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. 1967.
This is the traditional story of the monstrous dragon, beautiful princess, and humble boy who saves her. However, gentle touches of humor and various perspectives on the original tale are emphasized through the breathless narration and Ardizzone's illustrations.
Michaelis, Antonia. Dragons of Darkness. 2010.
Two boys from very different backgrounds are thrown together by magic, mayhem, and a common foe as they battle deadly dragons in the wilderness of Nepal.
Ogilvy, Ian. Measle and the Dragodon. 2005.
Measle's horrible guardian, Basil Tramplebone, is dead and he has been reunited with his parents. But his adventures aren't over yet. To save his parents from the evil Wrathmonks' revenge he must defeat the Dragodon!
Measle and the Wrathmonk. 2004.
Measle and the Mallockee. 2006.
Pyle, Howard. Bearskin. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1997.
Bearskin, raised by bears in the forest, defeats an evil dragon. He saves the princess not only from the monster, but also from the scheming steward.
Stewart, Paul and Chris Riddell. Dragon's Hoard. 2005.
A funny blend of hard-boiled detective style, heroic fantasy, and daring adventure. To save the Ragged Beauty, Sir Knight must slay the evil dragon and find out the truth behind the strange stories.
Prequel (A Knight's Story):
Lake of Skulls. 2003.
Trewellard, J.M. Butterfingers. 2007.
When beautiful Princess Bella is kidnapped by a fearsome dragon, it is left to a clumsy stable boy, accompanied by his dog and pony, to save her.
NOT SO MONSTROUS DRAGONS
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Alexander, Sue. World Famous Muriel and the Scary Dragon. 1985.
The World Famous Muriel is off on another adventure. This time, she must defeat the dragon who is scaring the kingdom of Pompandcircumstance. With a little clever thinking, everyone is happy and Muriel receives a "dragon's weight of peanut butter cookies" for her heroic deed.
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Axelsson, Carina. Nigel of Hyde Park. 2004.
It is time for Nigel, dragon and crown prince, to be crowned king of Hyde Park. But how can he rule his subjects when he can't rule his own imagination. Zany illustrations show Nigel learning to conquer his imagination and his arch-enemy, Lord Black.
Bar-el, Dan. Not Your Typical Dragon. 2013.
When Crispin Blaze turns seven, he's expected to breathe fire like all the other dragons. But instead of fire, he breathes a host of unusual things.
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Deedy, Carmen Agra. The Library Dragon. 1994.
There's a new librarian at school...and she's a real dragon! But when Miss Lotta Scales discovers that books are meant to be read, she undergoes a transformation.
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Donaldson, Julia. A Gold Star for Zog. 2012.
Each year, as Zog practices new skills learned at Madam Dragon's school, a little girl helps him out until one day he finds a way to help make her dream come true for herself, a new friend, and Zog.
DiTerlizzi, Tony. Kenny & the Dragon. 2008.
Book-loving Kenny the rabbit has few friends in his farming community, so when one, bookstore owner George, is sent to kill another, gentle dragon Grahame, Kenny must find a way to prevent their battle while satisfying the dragon-crazed townspeople.
Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon. Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. 1938.
This is the classic pacifist dragon tale, taken from Kenneth Grahame's Dream Days (1898). Dragon, built up by the fears and prejudices of the villagers into a monster, is really a kind and rather ineffectual creature. However, when St. George comes to save the village from their "monster" only the shepherd boy can reconcile the frightened villagers, militant St. George, and helpless dragon.
Other Versions or Editions:
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The Reluctant Dragon. 1968 version illustrated by Gregorio Prestopino.
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The Reluctant Dragon. 2004 version retold by Robert D. San Souci, Illustrated by John Segal.
San Souci's retelling shortens the story for younger readers and listeners, but loses the charm and humor of Grahame's language. The illustrations are small and confusing - St. George has a distinctly female look - and San Souci has also added details, such as a name for the boy.
Gravett, Emily. Again! 2013.
At bedtime, Cedric the dragon wants his mother to read his favorite book again, and again, and again.
Hillert, Margaret. Dear Dragon Goes to the Library. 2008.
A boy and his pet dragon go to story time and take out books from the library.
Dear Dragon's A is for Apple. 2008.
Keller, Beverly. A Small, Elderly Dragon. 1984.
The old dragon of Minervia can no longer terrorize the countryside - but he still causes quite a lot of trouble when a wicked sorcerer takes Minervia in exchange for getting rid of the dragon. It takes Princess Dorma and all her friends to defeat the sorcerer and find a happy ending for everyone - even the dragon.
Kent, Jack. The Once-Upon-a-Time Dragon. 1982.
Sam loves bedtime stories, especially the ones about dragons who are really enchanted princes. It takes some exciting adventures for him to be happy with himself as a dragon.
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Knudsen, Michelle. Argus. 2011.
Sallie's class is supposed to be raising chicks as a science project, but although Argus, the large, green, scaly creature that hatches from her egg, causes all sorts of trouble, she worries about him when he disappears.
Krensky, Stephen. Spark the Firefighter. 2008.
Spark’s fear of fire has kept him from being a proper dragon, so he takes a job with the Hardscrabble volunteer fire department in hopes of conquering his fear.
Kumin, Maxine W. Sebastian and the Dragon. 1960.
This humorous story is told in verse. Sebastian John, the smallest boy in town, proves he's just as good as the adults when he brings home the rarest animal for the zoo - a dragon!
Manning, Rosemary. Green Smoke. 1957.
On holiday in Cornwall, Sue discovers R. Dragon. He has quite reformed and only puts his teeth in when necessary. R. Dragon takes Sue on many exotic journeys and tells her marvelous stories of his adventures in times past.
Dragon in Danger. 1960.
Dragon's Quest. 1962.
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Mayhew, James. Who Wants a Dragon? 2004.
The baby dragon doesn't seem to fit anywhere; he's too big for the witch, too muddy for the princess, and too scary for everyone else. But there is one creature who wants a dragon - his mother.
McGowen, Tom. Dragon Stew. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. 1969.
The king loves exotic cooking, but his meddling in the kitchen drives away all his royal cooks. When a new royal cook arrives, things work out marvelously; until the king asks for dragon stew!
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Polacco, Patricia. The Graves Family Goes Camping. 2005.
The Graves family is having a wonderful time camping at Lake Bleakmire and collecting creepy, slimy, and unusual specimens when they discover a species thought to be extinct - a dragon!
Strickland, Brad. Dragon's Plunder. 1992.
When Jamie is kidnapped from the inn, he thinks even pirates can't be worse than his miserable life. But then he discovers that Captain Deadman's name means exactly what it says...and the crew is after the treasure of the last dragon!
Vande Velde, Vivian. Dragon's Bait. 1992.
When Alys is given to the dragon by the foolish and cruel villagers, she makes a surprising discovery and learns some lessons about herself and revenge.
Ward, Helen. The Dragon Machine. 2003.
George is the only one who notices the dragons all around him...but when he starts to feed them they become a problem. To lead them home, George creates the dragon machine.
Wilson, Sarah. Beware the Dragons! 1985.
All the folk of Spooner Bay think the dragons are a terrible menace. But when Tildy accidentally meets them, she discovers they are just lonely and want to play. Tildy's exclamations such as "leaping lobsters" and "shivering shark tails" and the humorous illustrations enliven the simple plot.
Zaring, Jane. The Return of the Dragon. 1981.
Caradoc, a Welsh dragon, has been driven out of his home because of his malicious and mischievious deeds. After many years spent with St. MacDara, he is ready to go home, a reformed and wiser dragon...but first he must do twelve good deeds to convince the townspeople that he is truly repentant.
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Berkeley, Jon. Chopsticks. 2006.
Chopsticks the mouse frees the wooden dragon and together they fly across the sky every night, returning to the wooden dragon's restaurant in the morning.
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Chang, Grace. Jin Jin the Dragon. 2007.
Jin Jin the dragon does not know what kind of creature he is, so he embarks on a journey, assisted by other animals he meets along the way, to find Old Turtle and Crane, who will help him learn his identity. Includes information about Chinese writing and the place of the dragon in Chinese lore.
Jin Jin and Rain Wizard. 1960.
Davol, Marguerite W. The Paper Dragon. Illustrated by Robert Sabuda. 1997.
A dragon has awoken and is destroying the village and its land. Mi Fei is only an artist, but when the people ask him for help he cannot refuse. He finds his talents are of use against the dragon and eventually puts him back to sleep.
Demi. The Boy Who Painted Dragons. 2007.
Ping, a painter of dragons--of which he is secretly afraid--is challenged to seek the truth, find the truth, and dare to be true.
Goodman, Alison. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn. 2008.
Sixteen-year-old Eon hopes to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune and learn to be its main interpreter, but to do so will require much, including keeping secret that she is a girl.
Eona: The Last Dragoneye. 2011.
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Lawson, Julie. The Dragon's Pearl. 1993.
Despite his poverty, Xiao Sheng is happy. But one day he finds a pearl which brings great happiness - and tragedy - to his family.
Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. 2009.
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
Wilkinson, Carole. Dragon Keeper. 2005.
An orphan slave girl becomes a Dragon Keeper when she heroically comes to the aid of an aging dragon and both go on a dangerous journey across China to protect a mysterious stone vital to the dragon’s legacy.
Sequels (Dragon Keeper):
Garden of the Purple Dragon. 2007.
Dragon Moon. 2008.
Not Available at UIUC
Blood Brothers. 2012.
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Young, Ed. The Sons of the Dragon King: A Chinese Legend. 2004.
The dragon king's nine sons each seem to be lazy or useless at first, but the king guides them into positions which use their strengths for the good of the people.
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Young, Russell. Dragonsong: A Fable for the New Millennium. 2000.
Chiang-An lives in China near an unnamed village. When the dragons gather to bring gifts which will decide who becomes the village's guardian, Chiang-An goes out into the world to search for the perfect gift.
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Zhang, Song Nan and Hao Yu Zhang. A Time of Golden Dragons. 2000.
Written to celebrate the alignment of the Chinese Golden Dragon year and the Western millennium, an event which occurs every 3,000 years, this book explains the significance of dragons in Chinese culture and history.