Dragon Mountain (Dragon Realm #1)

by Katie Tsang (Author)

Dragon Mountain (Dragon Realm #1)
Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

From the authors behind the critically acclaimed Sam Wu books, a thrilling new fantasy series about friendship, courage, adventure, and dragon magic.

When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a language and culture camp in the middle-of-nowhere China, he can't imagine anything worse. He's not expecting to become friends with fellow campers Dylan O'Donnell, Charlotte Bell, and Liu Ling-Fei. And he's definitely not planning to meet any dragons. But when the four kids accidentally open a crack in an ancient mountain, they become involved in an ages-old struggle of good versus evil. Now it's up to them to save the Dragon Realm--if they don't, the world as they know it might disappear forever.

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Kirkus Reviews

A high-interest read.

School Library Journal

Gr 4-6--Katie and Kevin Tsang's (the team behind the "Sam Wu" series) first in a new middle grade fantasy trilogy offers readers a fast-paced plot and dragons, but without much substance. When 12-year-old California surfer Billy Chan gets sent to a language and culture summer camp in rural China, he has no idea he's in for the adventure of his life. Billy and three of his campmates discover four dragons who've been trapped in nearby Dragon Mountain, unable to defeat the dark magic that is destroying both the dragon and human realms. Billy and his friends must decide if they are willing to risk everything to help save both worlds. Readers will enjoy new dragon lore, such as each dragon having a heart that matches a human's. And most won't be able to resist the predictable cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. However, they may also find the characters one-dimensional and the plot full of unexplained conveniences. Most alarming is the abrupt end of the book just as the action starts to build. Readers will have to wait for the rest of the story in the second installment. VERDICT A sure pick for Tui T. Sutherland's "Wings of Fire" readers, and those who just need to get their hands on every dragon book out there.--Hillary Perelyubskiy, Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

When 12-year-old San Franciscan Billy Chan is sent to summer camp in "middle-of-nowhere China" to explore his Chinese heritage and improve his Mandarin, he worries about being judged for his language skills, even though his father speaks Cantonese, not Mandarin. He's quickly grouped with three other kids: the enthusiastic Dylan O'Donnell, from Ireland; Charlotte Bell, an overachieving pageant winner from the American South; and enthusiastic Liu Ling-Fei, a local resident. During an early team-building competition, the quartet experiences mysterious phenomena that include a vanishing tiger, and later stumbles across the mountain's greatest secret: a cave of four dragons who say that the survival of dragon and human realms relies on a difficult-to-attain "dragon-human bond." As each of the four bonds with a dragon, receiving fantastical gifts and powers, Billy and his friends learn they must defeat the malevolent Dragon of Death once and for all. With this series opener, married cocreators the Tsangs (the Sam Wu is Not Afraid of... series) kick off an adventure inspired loosely by Chinese folklore and focusing on the power of friendship, loyalty, and skill. Fast-paced and engaging, this tale emphasizes adventure over complexity, easily appealing to a young audience. While the portrayals rely on stock archetypes, the characters have room to grow in future installments. Ages 8-12. Agent: Claire Wilson, RCW. (Oct.)

Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Dragon Mountain is a joy to read—adventurous and enchanting, with a heart of gold. It will make you relive the moment you first looked at the sky and longed to see a dragon looking back." —Samantha Shannon, international and New York Times best-selling author of Priory of the Orange Tree and The Bone Season series

"Brimming with warmth and originality, Dragon Mountain combines edge-of-your-seat adventure, laugh-out-loud humor, and hugely exciting dragons to create a sweeping fantasy that will captivate readers of all ages." —Catherine Doyle, author of The Storm Keeper's Island series

"Dragon Mountain has all of my favorite things! A rich mythology and a tale of friendship, snarky dragons, and daring deeds . . . this is the kind of breathless tale that leaves you hungry for the next installment." —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of Aru Shah and the End of Time

Katie Tsang
Katie Tsang and Kevin Tsang met while studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kevin works as a healthcare technology consultant, and Katie writes YA as Katherine Webber. Together, they have also coauthored the Sam Wu Is Not Afraid chapter-book series. They currently live in London with their young daughter and can be found on Twitter @kwebberwrites and @kevtsang.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Union Square Kids
Publication date
July 27, 2021
The Dragon Realm
BISAC categories
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV002270 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
JUV012060 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, Fables | Asian
Library of Congress categories
Adventure and adventurers
Adventure stories

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