“Dragons in a Bag” by Zetta Elliott


When your fourth-graders love a book and demand the next one, you know you have a good one. “Dragons in a Bag” has a little bit of everything.  There’s adventure, magic, unusual characters and dragons. These dragons come with two rules: first, don’t let them out of the bag and second, never feed them marshmallows.  Sounds pretty simple right? But nothing ever is. 

We begin this adventure with Jaxon being dropped off at Ma’s place.  Ma is a cranky old woman with many books and a peculiar job that his mama disapproves of. Today she was supposed to deliver a mysterious package, but now she has Jax to worry about. What is she going to do with Jax? Can he be trusted? 

Little does Jaxon know that his day is about to become crazy.  First, he sees the mysterious package moving on its own. Then he’s attacked by a rat searching for marshmallows. He meets an invisible guy wearing too many clothes, is unintentionally transported to the past, and meets his grandfather for the first time. What else can happen in one day? 

“Dragons in a Bag” briefly touches on deeper, real-life issues such as broken families.  Jaxon lives with his mother in a small apartment from which they are about to be evicted from. Momma is going to court to try to save their home, thus the reason Jax is left with Ma. Jaxon has no idea who his father is, and just meets his grandfather, his mother’s dad. Jaxon’s mom isn’t too happy about this meeting as she hasn’t had contact with her father for many years.   

This juvenile fiction novel is perfect for young readers.  Kids I know who have read “Dragons in a Bag” were always engaged and  wondering what would happen next. Everyone is disappointed when the book ends but, thankfully, the second book, “The Dragon Thief,” is out!  “Dragons in a Bag” and “The Dragon Thief” are both available throughout the Lincoln County Library System. “Dragons in a Bag” is also available as a CD audiobook.

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