Sunday, February 16, 2014
Review: Diego's Dragon, Book One: Spirits of the Sun by Kevin Gerard
An eleven-year-old Latino boy wins a district-wide writing contest for sixth graders. When an author visits his school to award his prize, Diego Ramirez has no idea how much his life is about to change.
Nathan Sullivan hands Diego his statue, a handsome, glistening black dragon. He shakes his hand and leaves him to his friends. The students crowd around Diego, asking for permission to hold it.
After hearing the name Magnifico spoken aloud by family and friends, Diego awards it to his new dragon. If he only knew how fitting the name was, he might have known what lay ahead. Magnifico is the leader of the Sol Dragones, dragons that live within the magical fires of the sun. Nathan Sullivan is the earth's connection to the mysterious creatures. It is his task to find Magnifico’s guide.
As Magnifico comes to life he becomes quite mischievous, playing tricks on Diego to embarrass him. As he discovers his bloodline, however, Diego assumes greater control over his dragon and his destiny. In the climactic journey, he frees his people and suffers a terrible loss by guiding Magnifico to their goal.
I was instantly drawn to the black dragon with a powerful name to match...Magnifico! Without a doubt he can cause trouble for the hero, Diego but he also protects him and serves him in order to achieve the ultimate goal and destiny Diego has to free his people from years of torture. However, I choose not to tell you of what torture that is.
The mysterious writer, Nathan Sullivan is charged with finding the "guide" as Diego will be come to be know as. His role is to also help Diego see that he is more than just an eleven-year-old boy but a person of years and wisdom.
To encourage him in achieving these goals, is the beautiful girlfriend, Raquel who pulls at the heart strings of the young boy. She too has a goal to achieve and only near the end of the book does the reader find out what exactly that is. Her ultimate destiny will be intertwined with Diego's but leave him heart broken and hopeful too.
I have always been fascinated by the supposedly mythical creature of dragons so, it was great delight to read this book about one that comes to life. It was also great to see the hero being a young Latino boy.
The author had in mind from the beginning of this book (he wrote it in the foreword) to write books for young Latinos. The lack of books for this group of children was overpowering. The author discovered very few books were available and thus set out to correct that problem. This book is the first book in what is to ultimately be a series.
I certainly was not disappointed with the book and glad it did not end on a cliff hanger. I felt that all the characters were strong and I could see children seeing themselves in the characters. I could also see that the author did his homework to provide the cultural nuances for the book.
I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and find out what adventure Diego and Magnifico have in store. Great book and a must read!
This book gets 5 stars!
Disclosure:I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.
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