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Last Dragon, The: Reviewed

Author:Silvana De Mari
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 8 and up
Genre:fiction, fairy tale
Year of publication:2006

A beautiful and gentle but very sad fairy tale for children about xenophobia, ethnic cleansing, forced communal farming, vegetarianism (and its limitations), witch hunts, forgiveness, sacrifice, and the difference between selfishness and self preservation. My very sensitive 12 yr. old loved this story and encouraged me to listen to it on audio CD.

The story is so intense that if Trish Connolly, the reader, were not so compelling, there were many points at which I would have stopped. No way I could read this story -- I'd have been crying too hard.

The Last Dragon is the story of Yorsh, a young elf who is taken in by two humans when all the other elves have been exterminated by the humans of Daligar. (The elves, as everyone knows, were responsible for all evil and misfortune in the world, including the terrible rainy weather and resulting floods. After all, there must always be someone to blame.) The humans who shelter Yorsh despite the peril to their lives learn to love and appreciate his special gifts. And Yorsh comes to know that not all humans are murderers and thieves.

And yes, in the course of Yorsh's wanderings, we do also come to know and love the world's last dragon.

Worth reading, but very, very sad. May be a good way to start discussions of the Holocaust and about how people can go on with their lives, even after experiencing the awful suffering some inflict on innocents.

-- Emily Berk

Other reviews: Last Dragon, The
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