DragonCharmerThe Dragon Charmer by Douglas Hill, 1997.

This is a great fantasy story about a girl who learns to face her fears and persevere in spite of them. It has a good moral and is encouraging to anyone who failed at something but wanted to try again.

Elynne Danneby is afraid of dragons, which is a shame because her family makes its living by dragon charming. Every year, the dragons stop by her family’s farm on their migratory path, and Elynne’s father puts on a show for people who come to see the dragons. By playing a special tune on his pipes, Dan Danneby can put the dragons into a trance and safely walk among them. Only certain people have the ability to charm dragons. Elynne possesses that talent, but she has been unable to use it since she made a mistake while trying to charm dragons when she was a small child. They tried to attack her, and her father had to save her from them. Ever since, the dragons have terrified Elynne, but she is still fascinated by them and desperately wants to conquer her fear in order to charm them like her father does.

DragonCharmerPicThen, one day, a rare crimson dragon comes to the farm and lays an egg. It is extremely uncommon to see a dragon’s nest or a baby dragon, and Dan is excited about trying to charm the baby after the egg hatches. However, Dan’s assistant is greedy and decides to steal the egg and sell it. Elynne overheard him talk about his plans before the egg was stolen, but because she wasn’t sure of what she heard, she didn’t tell anyone. Elynne feels guilty about not preventing the theft of the egg, and in spite of her fear, she is determined to get it back. In the process, she not only conquers her fear but learns about a talent that she never realized she had.

The book is full of black-and-white drawings in a sort of cross-hatch style.

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