SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON
by C. Lee McKenzie
Middle Grade Adventure
ages 8 - 12
Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.
After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.
When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.
With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.
Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you’ll love this story. As one reader says, this book, “has more twists than a dragon’s tail.”
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This book not only is packed with adventure, treasure hunting and mystery but gives a glimpse at an often overlooked part of American history.
Sam's life, especially in terms of baseball, is about to be ruined; his uncle wants to send him off to boarding school. To help out, his two best friends hide him out in a cave. When an earthquake hits, and a dragon chest is revealed, the adventure begins.
There are so many things for middle graders to love: caves, treasure maps, secrets and dragons. The author does a terrific job at weaving historical elements into a fast paced adventure which is sure to lure in especially boy readers. Sam is hard not to like, and his friends are exactly as a boy wishes his friends could be. The characters come across as typical for 11 to 12 year-olds, making it easy to sympathize with them and long to jump in on the adventure.
There's just enough description to draw into the scenes, and the dragons add the perfect touch. The more the boys uncover, the deeper the mystery grows and many of the twists and turns are hard to see coming.
Summed up, this is a fun read for especially boys ages 8 and up. The length isn't too long to scare off more reluctant readers, and there's enough tension and mystery to hold the tension until the last page. And the historical glimpses and the perfect touch.