Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr
Pajama Press, 2017
Release date: 10-27-17
Weeks ago I was contacted out of the blue to be a part of this blog tour. I didn't know anything about Dragonfly Song, aside from the author's name, which is one of the reasons I didn't hesitate at all to tke part. Wendy Orr brought Nim's Island to us, which has been loved by many of my students. Knowing how much I enjoyed Nim's story, I was excited to read Wendy's newest title.
It was nothing I expected.
That's not entirely true...I did expect to enjoy it.
But I didn't expect how tightly it would hold me throughout the entire story. Small and fragile Aissa, cast about at the will of so many adults, tormented and bullied by the people surrounding her, and yet, she never hardened. She strengthened, but never hardened. Which makes you root for her with every single turn of the page.
The bull dancers, what frightening and beautiful art is this? Children being sacrificed for the safety of the island...until one can out-dance the bull and free their people from this annual ritual. Obviously Aissa gets called to be a bull dancer, the cover depicts as much. But when? I waited and waited for this turn, and continued to be surprised by the direction of the story.
I love the gentleness and the vulnerability in this story. I also love the hope, the knowing that there is more in store for Aissa. And I love Aissa's sense of good and her perseverance. My goodness, she certainly perseveres.
This is a book to give readers that love being absorbed in another world. Readers that don't need flashy events on every page, readers that can wait. It is so worth the wait.
Summary from Publisher:
The whispers say it’s not true that the Lady’s firstborn died at birth. They say it’s worse—the baby was born with an extra thumb dangling from each wrist. If she’s not perfect, she can never follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Nobody but the old wise-woman knows what truly happened to Aissa, the firstborn daughter of the priestess. If they saw the half-moon scars on the servant girl’s wrists they would find it out, but who would look twice at lowly, mute No-Name? Then the soldiers of Crete come to the island, demanding children as tribute for their god-king’s bull dances as they do every year. Aissa is determined to seize this chance to fight for her own worth and change her destiny once and for all.
Lyrically written and refreshingly unpredictable, Dragonfly Song is a compelling Bronze Age fantasy that suggests a fascinating origin for the legend of the Minotaur and his dark tribute.
Unleashing Readers, Activity Guide and Discussion Questions, 10/22 http://www.unleashingreaders.com/
YA and Kids Book Central, Book Playlist, 10/23 http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/
Log Cabin Library, Guest Post, 10/24 http://logcabinlibrary.blogspot.com/
The Children’s Book Review, Character Interview, 10/25 https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/
Bluestocking Thinking, Review, 10/26 http://bluestockingthinking.blogspot.com/
Charlotte’s Library, Interview, 10/27 http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust, Interview, 10/28 http://www.foodiebibliophile.com/
Writers’ Rumpus, Guest Post, 10/29 https://writersrumpus.com/
More information about Dragonfly Song: http://pajamapress.ca/book/dragonfly_song/
More information about Wendy Orr: http://www.wendyorr.com/
YA and Kids Book Central posted a playlist for the novel (loved that post!), and it was fun to explore. If you only click two links, check out the first one, the song Wendy Orr heard and knew she had to write a book for. And the last one, what Wendy imagines the beauty of the snake song would sound like.
If you don't have time to head there now, here are those two, my favorites:
Ok, I lied, here is one more favorite from that playlist!
I will be playing this as my students enter the classroom tomorrow!
Listening to this song, while imagining and remembering scenes of bull dancing, is at once a beautiful and thrilling and also a sad and terrifying experience.
****Update!!! The winner of the giveaway will have an enamel dragonfly pin included in their book prize! How fun!!****
Contest closes Friday, November 3rd, before I go to bed!
Thanks for visiting!