Cover Image: Dragon Skin

Dragon Skin

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me the arc. This book is beautifully written and cute. Most importantly, the cover is pretty too. Since this book is for middle grade, the writing style is simple and easy to understand. Not only for children but for someone who is not an english native speaker. I enjoy reading this. Mix between fantasy and reality. Really recommend this.
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This is an enjoyable novel, well written with intriguing characters. It's a fun story and I think a lot of people will enjoy this one. I definitely did 😀
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This is so sweet and whimsical and engrossing. It is a simple story but told excellently. Pip is a wonderfully charming main character and a delight to follow along with. 

The writing in this is so on point and gets straight to the heart of the story whilst still being filled with whimsy. The plot is straightforward but interesting and the characters are pretty fleshed out for what the story is. This covers several difficult topics but does in such a way that doesn't take away from the endearing quality of the novel. 

I really liked this and it was a quick, enchanting little read. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but was pleasantly surprised. It is a beautiful story told simply, with elegance, with so much anticipation whilst packing all the emotions. The children's relationships were striking and I was on edge the whole time because of her home life. 
This opens up opportunities for discussions that possibly would not happen otherwise.
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This is a beautiful story - I think it will stay with me for a while. Deals sensitively with some difficult topics, and the relationships between Pip and her classmates are depicted realistically and sympathetically. I loved the magical elements, and of course the dragon - I was worried it would turn out to be metaphorical, but was very happy in the end. Definitely one I'll be recommending!
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The thing with dragons was that no one expected to find one.

Pip loves spending time in the magic and peace of the creek. It’s much better than the tense atmosphere at home where her mum’s partner, Matt, is angry, threatening and controlling most of the time. Pip loves her mum and wants nothing more than for the two of them to run away and find a life where they can be happy and safe.

One day, Pip finds a strange creature in the mud. There’s no other possible explanation than the wonderful reality that she has found a baby dragon. She sneaks it home to care for it. The more time she spends with the dragon, the more its power runs through her. Pip feels herself begin to change. She is stronger, braver, more in tune with her feelings.

This is a unique and powerful story. The link between the strength of the dragon and the strength of Pip and her mum has left me thinking long after the book ended. The dragon came along just when Pip needed it, providing friendship, purpose and the chance to change her life.

Dragon Skin addresses issues of domestic abuse and fleeing to safety in a gentle yet empowering manner.

Thank you to Pushkin Press for this beautiful book!
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A beautiful story that mixes fantasy and hard hitting domestic issues. Foxlee writes beautiful prose and creates unforgettable characters, and the relationship between the three kids was the heart of the book. I cant wait to read more from this author.
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I loved this book. Fantasy and reality are meshed together so well that the reader cares passionately about both aspects. It is a book about sadness yet not a sad book. It is a book about how much can be going on beneath the surface, and a brilliant tale about rescuing a dying dragon with the help of weetabix and a hoodie nest..

Pip finds a dying dragon, and knows that it is her job to save it. She feels she has been chosen and willingly takes on the responsibility. But she is alone; heart-wrenchingly alone, a loneliness that dominates the first part of the book.. Something - and for much of the book we don't know what - has happened to her close friend, Mika. His absence has left her desolate. Meanwhile, her mother has a new partner, Matt, and cannot bring herself to leave him despite his cruelty and manipulation. The ever=present anxiety and watchfulness this situation causes are brilliantly drawn, with that concern a constant thread throughout the story. Pip has to learn that she cannot remain alone, and she makes other friends who turn out to have key roles in the rescue of the dragon. The dragon is able  to draw out  mysterious powers in her new friends too, so one sings songs to heal his wings and one is able to show him how to jump and fly. The three also become united in a brief friendship  that nevertheless changes each child's understanding of themselves and of others irrevocably.
This book is more than a brilliant story. The words are beautiful, and the expressions of Pip's fears and loneliness are stunning. The setting is a place of adventure and bravery and secret places to share, but it is also a place of dangers more real than Mika's imaginary bunyip. Mika ihimself is a wonderful creation, charismatic even as a memory; he is a story-teller, a dreamer, a questioner and a frightened, desperately determined, small boy. Pip's mum, endlessly scrolling though frantic self-help and self-improvement threads on her phone,  has currently lost herself but it is still a self you very much believe in, and want to see restored. I think Karen Foxlee's writing is wonderful for showing unseen emotional depths, and struck me as a reminder that children may have more challenges than we ever know. Some of the situations and dialogue are witty and humorous - I did enjoy the vomit on Lisa's sneakers - but the story's probing honesty can also be heart-rending. Pip begins to realise that others share her deep pain, but it a pain that is still very real, even at the end.  
This is a beautiful book but Matt's callous words and mean-spirited manipulation may ring too true to be bearable for some. However, if it is a book you can read, then I would say do so. This book has a child - indeed children - at its heart, but it is a book that will resonate with many adults and linger in the memory for a long while afterwards,
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Karen Foxlee has written a beautifully moving narrative about a girl with a troubled home life. Written with sensitivity, Dragon Skin hints at inferences of domestic violence as well as the loss of a close friend. It delves into how the young character finds solace after finding a small, helpless dragon which in turn opens up a world of new friendships and possibilities. 

Suitable for ages 9+, it's a heartwarming read for children looking for tales about adventure and dragons but also at a deeper level for children that can identify with feelings of loneliness and betrayal.
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Pip stays out as late as she can, because at home she and her mum are always on edge, never knowing what Matt’s mood will be when he comes in from work.  Before, she was always with Mika, but he has been gone for months now.  One evening, just before dark, she finds a tiny baby dragon, near dead, and knows she must save it, in the same way as she and Mika saved a kitten.   Keeping the dragon hidden is real challenge, especially as she has to take it school in her backpack, and it is not long before some of her classmates are convinced they have seen something in her bag…  Luckily the holidays are fast approaching so only a couple of days of school remain, and caring for the dragon, Little Fella, is changing Pip.
This is a beautifully told story about coming to terms with the devastating loss of a best friend in a small mining town in Australia.  Not only is Pip dealing with loss, but she is constantly urging her mum to flee the far from ideal domestic situation in which they are living.  Pip’s feelings are revealed in her care for the dragon, her memories of Mika and her grandparents, and in her changing relationship with Laura, almost her polar opposite in terms of background, personality and interests, who, along with classmate Archie, eventually helps save Little Fella.   The websites Mum scrolls through on her mobile phone subtly chart her changing mind-set as the story develops and she finds life with Matt even less tolerable.  I loved this book – highly recommended.
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From the first time I start reading Dragon Skin, I knew it was a middle grade that I would love. I loved Pip's character from the start, and I grew to love her even more through out the whole story. 

Even though this book is a middle grade, there was a deep sense of loss that I feel through out reading this whole book but also hope, and I think Karen Foxlee was absolutely wonderful for writing this book the way it was written. I think the fact that we got to see the story from Pip's mind also made the reading experience even more enjoyable. 

I would definitely recommend this to my friends, and I can't wait to see this book get discussed once it's out. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this early.
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When Pip finds a tiny, vulnerable and almost dead baby dragon, she knows she must do something to save it. But is it safe to bring it back to a house where the girl herself no longer feels secure? 

Dragon Skin is a little novel which packs a big punch. It’s a deeply poignant, emotionally charged story dealing with some big issues such as loss and domestic abuse. It’s a beautifully written story, which feels almost like poetry such is the beauty of the writing. 

Sensitive and hard-hitting issues are dealt with beautifully and Dragon Skin is a tale of hope and healing. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC.
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I'm not sure that I agree with the term 'quiet book' but at the lack of a better description I think this is how I'd describe Dragon Skin. It's got Foxlee's signature themes of heartbreak and loss woven through it and the magic-realist element is unusual, unique, unpredictable subtle and beautiful. The inequalities between the lives of the children are set out clearly in a way that young readers would understand and the domestic abuse is sensitively portrayed. This all sounds quite 'heavy' but actually this book is also full of the wonders of friendship, love and the importance of hope.
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This is an adorable middle-grade novel about a girl who finds a wounded little dragon and takes it home to care for it. The prose was lovely, even poetic at times, and I felt drawn in immediately. Though it was light-hearted, it was definitely not lacking in depth: there's a heart-breaking storyline about domestic abuse and loss, which was handled expertly. I loved Pip, and Little Fella.
Honestly, the only thing that could have been better is if there would have been more illustrations: the drawings at the beginning of every section are stunning, and I would have liked to see more!
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