A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Mark of the Dragonfly is an exciting fantasy page-turner that's fine for preteens. The excitement comes partly from mild violence: The heroes are frequently in peril, a battle-like confrontation with bandits is described, there are a few physical struggles, a couple of times people are threatened with weapons, and blood is mentioned briefly four or five times. Sexual content is very mild: one kiss on the cheek and once Piper and Gee hold hands.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Orphaned Piper, 13, lives a hardscrabble life in a remote settlement, eking out a living using her knack for machinery repair. She rescues an unconscious girl with a dragonfly tattoo on her arm, which means the girl's protected by the King himself. But when the girl comes to, the only thing she remembers is that she's terrified of the man who comes looking for her claiming to be her father. Piper determines to help Anna escape the mysterious man, recover her memories, and make it home. They stow aboard a freight train heading to the capital and are quickly discovered by the mysterious young security guard. If she can fight off bandits and slavers, and earn the trust of the train's crew, she just might be able to get Anna to safety.
Is it any good?
Jayleigh Johnson makes a thrilling, inventive YA debut with THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY. The fantasy world is richly imagined with convincing detail. The characters are well fleshed out, fully realized, and easy to relate to. She deftly combines elements of steampunk, fantasy creatures, and magical abilities. The adventure is exciting and well plotted to keep the pages turning for a wide range of ages and interests.
Talk to your kids about ...
Why are fantasy books so popular? Why do we like to escape to other worlds that don't really exist?
Piper has always had a knack for fixing machines. What talents do you have? Have you always known about them, or do you remember discovering them at some point?
Meteors that land in Piper's world contain items from other worlds. What are meteorites that land on Earth made of? How else are they different from the meteors in The Mark of the Dragonfly?
- Author: Jaleigh Johnson
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: March 25, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 10 - 14
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 13, 2017
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.