Publisher's Note:  

Fans of The City of Ember will love The Mark of the Dragonfly, an adventure story set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.
   Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.
   The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.
   The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.
   Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House Children's Books

The Mark of the Dragonfly

by Jaleigh Johnson

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Overall Review:  

The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fresh, middle grade adventure that begins with a slight dystopian feel, has some science fiction concepts, and a few fantasy elements incorporated.  The book clips along with excellent pacing and has several thrilling chase scenes which grab and propel the reader, making this book hard to put down.  Particularly endearing are the characters: determined and loyal Piper; the encyclopedic and loquacious Anna; the protective and strong Gee.  Well-developed male and female characters will ensure appeal to all audiences.  What is particularly refreshing about this novel is that it is not an "automatic" set-up for a series; the book concludes satisfactorily, and although there is plenty of story possibility left in these young characters' lives, another book is not mandatory.  The Mark of the Dragonfly provides fabulous characters and stimulating action!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  None


Violence/Gore:  Report that a family member died in the past; meteor shower resulting in injury, destruction of property, and death; character punches another; characters struggle, shove, hit with object to render unconscious; character is pushed and knocked over; characters struggle and are kidnapped; evidence of attack by a large creature with possible implied death of characters; character chased and choked with attempt to kill; extended fight scene involving fire, arrows, threats explosion of equipment, crashing, injuries with mention of blood, struggling, and a character severely injured by cut with dagger; man slaps a girl; characters struggle involving gunshot, knocking over, grabbing hair, and destruction of property.


Sex/Nudity:  A character is naked after transformation, non-sexual & non-descriptive; character kisses another on the cheek; characters hug, hold hands, and embrace.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death of a family member, ecological damage/destruction, ethics of scientific experimentation.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

A toxic powder is used to drug characters, resulting in temporary paralysis.

Reviewed By Cindy
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