Release date: March 25, 2014Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Blurb from goodreads:
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.
Steampunk for kids! With a nice healthy dose of science fiction. I love it. I'm all for introducing children to as many genre's as possible, and this is probably the best example I've seen of steampunk for those under 13. The language is less dense than the Guardians of Childhood, by William Joyce, which also has a steampunk-esque feel to it. (Another series I highly recommend.) However, the images are just as vivid.
I'm a big proponent of books that can hold an appeal for both boys and girls, and Johnson nailed it. A female protagonist who is a great mix of tomboy and caretaker, a world that is a bit gritty and adventurous. I've got this one cued up on the Nook for my 13 year old son as well as my 9 year old daughter. This is the kind of book I'd recommend for teachers to give to their class, to parents for kids looking for a book report book. Strong vocabulary, engaging story line, great characters.