Winter Turning (Wings of Fire Book 7) by Tui T. Sutherland

Of all the books I got at BEA, the one I read first for my own personal pleasure was Winter Turning, the 7th book in a series about young dragons reshaping their war torn world (Scholastic, June 30).  War between the dragon clans had been going on for years, and many dragons had died, horribly and unforgivably.  Now the war is over, and young dragons are being asked to forgive the past and to work together to build peace.  It is hard, almost unimaginably hard, when loved ones on all sides have died, many in horrible circumstances.  But it is possible...because among the young dragons are some who are just really great people, who believe friendship is possible.

This particular book focuses on a young Ice Wing, Winter, who isn't at all convinced.  His harsh upbringing (I don't want to be a young Ice Wing!) hasn't prepared him for peace in general, and his main concern is not the good of some abstract Dragonkind, but saving his older brother, still a prisoner of the war.   But to save his brother, Winter might have to betray dragons from other clans who he is starting to care about, who might even be friends...the next book can't come soon enough!

This series is beautifully character driven, each book being from a different dragon's point of view.  There's plenty of action and excitement, but what really makes this a Really Outstanding Full of Kid Appeal (and I don't Capitalize Lightly) set of books is that the dragons are so unique, so strong in some ways, so hurt in others, and the problems they are grappling with are so (sadly) germane to conflicts in our own world that the books are more than just entertainment (though they aren't preachy).  All the various dragon cultures and idiosyncrasies are fully detailed too, making the world building something to enjoy lots!

If you have a fourth or fifth grader, start them on the series (and speaking as a parent, the fact that it's a nice long series is something to be happy about too, viz keeping one's children reading.  They will be hooked and the books will take them through a good part of the summer).  The first book is perhaps the most violent of the series (with dragon pitted against dragon in an arena of death) but there's so much more than violence going on that I would not hesitate to give it to any random 9 year old I happened to run into on the street.

For those who, like me, are already hooked--the next book, which comes out in January, is from Peril's point of view!  I can't wait.  (This is the sort of thing that makes me really glad I started a book blog.  I will probably get a review copy, and give it to my son at Christmas, and he will be So Happy!)

Disclaimer:  received from the publisher

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