Official Review: Dragon Sky by Laurie Woodward

Please use this sub-forum to discuss both middle-grade and younger children's books, including picture books, easy readers, and children's chapter books. Topics for books aimed at children 12 and under go in this forum.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Official Review: Dragon Sky by Laurie Woodward

Post by kandscreeley »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Dragon Sky" by Laurie Woodward.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


The world of Artania - a land made from the art in our world - is in trouble. The Shadow Swine invade the dreams of children, giving them nightmares to make them stop creating the art that makes up their world. The whiteness is growing by the day and, if unchecked, will completely erase Artania.

Bartholomew, Alex, and Gwen are tasked with the protection of Artania. The three middle school children have been twice before and managed to stop the evil plans of the Shadow Swine. Now, it seems that the Shadow Swine have a new secret weapon; Bartholomew, Alex, and Gwen must find the Golden Dragons or all will be lost! Will the three manage to put aside their differences and embrace their fears to save Artania?

Dragon Sky by Laurie Woodward is the third book in the Artania series. The target audience for this book is middle school to early high school age children, but there is something even for adults to enjoy if you don't mind a more simplistic storyline. Though it's the third book in the series, it does stand alone. While it only hints at earlier stories, the book might have a bit deeper meaning if the series is read in order; however, I still enjoyed it without reading the previous books.

I was most impressed with the author's imagination. A land consisting of sculptures, paintings, and models from children in the real world is somewhat unique in literature. The descriptions Ms. Woodward's provides, though, enabled me to picture the land easily. "Painted oak and ash trees sprouted from play dough soil. Construction paper shrubs swished in the breeze."

In addition, since the book is meant for a younger audience, the author tells the story with clean language. When some of the characters' express their frustration, they use unique phrases instead of cussing. For example, at one point, Bartholomew wonders, "...what the washcloths he was thinking."

The book is fast-paced, but the author takes her time setting up the story. This insured the reader would know the characters more thoroughly, helping to empathize with their plights. At the same time, the author does not allow the reader to get bored. With younger readers, this is especially important.

Two other things make the book even more impressive. First, even though the book is part of a continuing series, this particular arc is wrapped up. Ms. Woodward doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but she uses your love of the world and characters to keep you returning; it was quite admirable. Second, the plot includes a lesson that children (probably adults, too) would do well to learn early. That alone makes me want to recommend this book.

I wish my review ended there. Unfortunately, the book needs some help on the editing front. I found ten errors rather quickly within the story. Most of these consisted of missing words, and they were throughout the book. There was also the occasional spacing issue or missing apostrophe. All of the errors would quickly be taken care of by a proofreader, but they were somewhat distracting.

I am highly impressed with Dragon Sky and rate it 3 out of 4 stars only due to the lack of professional editing. I recommend it to any adult with middle school or early high school age children. It could even be a series that parents read aloud to their elementary school children. Though the stories are entirely distinct, this reminds me of Harry Potter because the series could be enjoyed by adults and children alike; the imagination of both authors leads to an enjoyable adventure series in both cases. I can't wait to see what becomes of Alex, Bartholomew, and Gwen (as well as Artania) in the future.

******
Dragon Sky
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like kandscreeley's review? Post a comment saying so!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
hannahbhill33
Posts: 4
Joined: 10 Jun 2019, 14:52
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 13
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-hannahbhill33.html
Latest Review: Containment Breach by Wm. A. Yandell

Post by hannahbhill33 »

I truly enjoyed reading your review! Knowing the lack of editing being distracting is really disappointing, as it sounds like a really enjoyable read. I'm very intrigued with the use of phrases instead of cussing, I think that is always a great thing to see and read in a book. Other than that the story sounds great and I would like to try to give it a read after seeing your review.
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

hannahbhill33 wrote: 19 Jun 2019, 13:25 I truly enjoyed reading your review! Knowing the lack of editing being distracting is really disappointing, as it sounds like a really enjoyable read. I'm very intrigued with the use of phrases instead of cussing, I think that is always a great thing to see and read in a book. Other than that the story sounds great and I would like to try to give it a read after seeing your review.
It really was an interesting story. I loved the world of Artania and am looking forward to seeing what happens with it in the future. Thanks so much for your comment.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
Nisha Ward
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 2247
Joined: 04 Feb 2019, 15:00
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Favorite Author: Garth Nix
Favorite Book: Binti Home
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 272
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nisha-ward.html
Latest Review: Coming Together: by Anthony Barclay
Reading Device: B0794RHPZD
fav_author_id: 4351

Post by Nisha Ward »

Artania sounds amazing. I'd rather start from the first book, though, if only to prolong my stay there and work my way towards this one. The search for the Golden Dragons sounds awesome and I do so enjoy books like these, even if I'm out of the age range now.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.
User avatar
LV2R
Posts: 1083
Joined: 25 Apr 2018, 22:28
Favorite Book: Crown of Crimson (The Afterlight Chronicles Book 1)
Currently Reading: Roan
Bookshelf Size: 345
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lv2r.html
Latest Review: Zona: The Forbidden Land by Fred G. Baker

Post by LV2R »

This story has a bit of fantasy with dragons and plenty about art and imagination. It does sound like a good book that children and adults alike would like to read. I like the replacement of curse words to be more imaginative and funny.
User avatar
Meg98
Posts: 566
Joined: 31 Mar 2019, 22:10
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-meg98.html
Latest Review: Finding A Job in Tough Times by Dr. Tim Johnson

Post by Meg98 »

This sounds like a unique and promising story, but could probably do with another round of editing. It is a shame, as it can really detract from a good read. Thank you for your honest review. Great job!
Oh love, never be afraid to fly :wink2:
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

Nisha Ward wrote: 19 Jun 2019, 16:21 Artania sounds amazing. I'd rather start from the first book, though, if only to prolong my stay there and work my way towards this one. The search for the Golden Dragons sounds awesome and I do so enjoy books like these, even if I'm out of the age range now.
I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely not the target audience. Starting at the first book would make this one that much more special. I hope you read it and enjoy! Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

LV2R wrote: 19 Jun 2019, 20:15 This story has a bit of fantasy with dragons and plenty about art and imagination. It does sound like a good book that children and adults alike would like to read. I like the replacement of curse words to be more imaginative and funny.
There is definitely an abundance of imagination. I think it would teach children that imagination is okay; art is okay. The cuss words were hilarious. Thanks so much!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

Meg98 wrote: 19 Jun 2019, 22:50 This sounds like a unique and promising story, but could probably do with another round of editing. It is a shame, as it can really detract from a good read. Thank you for your honest review. Great job!
Editing is very important to a story. This one was good enough that I hope people will overlook it and read it anyway. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
kdstrack
Posts: 6043
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2021 Reading Goal: 105
Currently Reading: Rotten to the Marrow
Bookshelf Size: 485
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: At the Feet of Serenity by Eve Gwartney

Post by kdstrack »

I love stories that can be described as unique and creative. Who knew 'washcloth' could be a curse word? Your review is very persuasive. This looks amazing. Thanks so much for the recommendation!
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

kdstrack wrote: 20 Jun 2019, 11:43 I love stories that can be described as unique and creative. Who knew 'washcloth' could be a curse word? Your review is very persuasive. This looks amazing. Thanks so much for the recommendation!
There's more unique cuss words where that one came from! It's highly enjoyable. Thanks for your comment.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
Letora
Posts: 992
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
Favorite Book: Wicked Saints
Currently Reading: the air between
Bookshelf Size: 251
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: Burn Zones by Jorge P. Newbery

Post by Letora »

I love the book cover! It caught my attention right away as I was looking through new reviews. This sounds like it would have been the perfect book for me growing up. I'd love a chance to read it. Thank you for reviewing!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss
User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 10937
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 381
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Ark of the Apocalypse by Tobin Marks

Post by kandscreeley »

Letora wrote: 21 Jun 2019, 06:36 I love the book cover! It caught my attention right away as I was looking through new reviews. This sounds like it would have been the perfect book for me growing up. I'd love a chance to read it. Thank you for reviewing!
I think you'd like it. It was gripping. Thanks so much for your comment.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott
User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 4394
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
Favorite Book:
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 169
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Perfect by Judi Miller

Post by Prisallen »

I agree this sounds like a wonderful book for both children and adults. As I love descriptive, imaginative stories, I will have to take a look at this one. Thank you for a great review!
Latest Review: Perfect by Judi Miller
User avatar
Cecilia_L
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 4689
Joined: 08 Jun 2018, 22:16
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 409
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cecilia-l.html
Latest Review: 52 - A Tale of Loneliness by Johnny DePalma

Post by Cecilia_L »

In addition, since the book is meant for a younger audience, the author tells the story with clean language. When some of the characters' express their frustration, they use unique phrases instead of cussing. For example, at one point, Bartholomew wonders, "...what the washcloths he was thinking."
I love this and wish more authors would implement such creativity when it comes to language. I can just hear kids repeating this one. :lol2:
Post Reply

Return to “Children's Books”