The Secret Dragon- Ed Clarke

This is such an interesting little book, it’s heartfelt and magical and a lovely Girls in STEM flavour.

It’s a sweet book for children who love science but still want to believe in magic and it’s a sweet step into Middle Grade for fans of The Boy Who Grew Dragons.

Book cover for The Secret Dragon
Cover by Ben Mantle interior illustrations by Simone Krüger

Mari Jones wants to be like Mary Anning when she grows up, more fascinated with science, fossils and dinosaurs than the living things around her until one day she chips a rock open and awakens a tiny but mischievous dragon.

Torn between her desire to record, study and be famous for her discovery against her new friends encouragement to kindness towards the creature, It turns out that the secret dragon can help her find hidden depths in herself too.

If the beach was her hunting ground, her bedroom was the best she brought all her treasures back to. Ammonites, brachiopods and trilobites lined the shelves, and fossils pictures messily papered every spare patch of wall.

It’s a lovely celebration of the Welsh seaside (here in the Bristol Channel) and rural life and of being a bit different, and whilst I do hope that characters brew a little more especially mum and Dylan in the coming sequel The Order Of The Dragon there’s still plenty to recommend this book for the science minded dreamers. Mari is a great character and Dylan is enigmatic but wonderful for how he pulls Mari out of her scientific mindset and helps her to care and Gweeb the Dragon is such a little darling!! Naughty but a darling all the same!

The frequent references to Mary Anning as Mari’s constant inspiration and hero have actually inspired me to pick up Lightning Mary by Anthea Simmons which is a fictionalised account of the scientist’s life for middle grade level!

Overall, it’s a sweet read for a little escapism and a lovely sweet spot for dinosaur and dragon fans to meet in harmony.

The Secret Dragon by Ed Clarke is published by Puffin Books

6 thoughts on “The Secret Dragon- Ed Clarke

  1. Don’t think I’ll be adding this to my tbr, as you know I often find those early MG, ‘nice’ books good to recommend but not really for me, but it’s a great one to know more about, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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