Friday, November 12, 2010

Novella Review - Between a Roc and a Hard Place by Danny Birt and Richard Svensson (4/5 stars)

Between a Roc and a Hard PlaceReading level: Children's/middle grade
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 88 pages
Publisher: Toy Box Books
Release Date: November 1, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1936021277
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer's Program
Rating: 4/5 stars

I got a copy of this book through Librarything's Early Reviewer program.  It was a fun and cute little book.  Aimed at middle grader readers or younger children; it has cute illustrations, delivers a good message, and is fun.

When a mother dragon is hunted down by humans she is able to save one of her eggs; before she dies she places it a Roc's nest.  The Roc parents (like giant eagles) are puzzled by the appearance of another egg in their nest but raise the little dragon girl as one of there own and name her Tephra.  As Tephra gets older things get interesting and she discovers she is not at bird at all but a dragon.  Tephra uses her unique position to get the animals to work together and defend their mountain region from human invasion.

This is a super cute book.  There are nicely done illustrations throughout the story.  Quite a bit of time passes between each chapter so we get to see Tephra at various points throughout her life.  Some of the book is pretty funny as Tephra discovers she is not a bird at all but a dragon.

There are a lot of good messages her that focus on acceptance, love in a family, and working together with people who are different to achieve a peaceful goal.  Tephra often reflects on the fact that things that seemed horrible when they happened actually turned out okay in the end.  It is nice to see that Tephra takes a positive attitude and tries the make the best out her circumstances.

Overall this was a great book.  It would be good for middle grade or younger children; teens and adults will find it a bit simplistic and possibly a bit too short for a completely satisfying read.  I will be keeping an eye on Birt to see what other children's books he writes in the future.  For the short length, this story packs a lot of story and a lot of goodness.

Between a Roc and a Hard Place 

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