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The Dragon in the Sock Drawer (Dragon Keepers #1)

Press: Random House (July 22, 2008)
Publication Date:2008-7
ISBN:9780375855870
Author Name:Klimo, Kate/ Shroades, John (ILT)
Pages:176
Language:English

Content

For Magic Tree House readers who are ready for something longer, the Dragon Keepers series has the perfect length and reading level, along with the fast-paced writing, adventure, and sense of teamwork that kids love to read.TEN-YEAR-OLD COUSINS Jesse and Daisy have always wanted something magical to happen  to them. 
So it’s a wish come true when Jesse’s newly found thunder egg hatches, and a helpless, tiny but very loud baby dragon pops out.
Soon the two kids are at the dragon’s beck-and-call, trying to figure out what to feed her.
An Internet search leads them to the library, which leads them back to the Internet, where they find a very strange Web site called “foundadragon.org.” It is here that the cousins discover that the dragon’s hatching has designated them “Dragon Keepers” and that not only do they have to feed her, but they have to keep her safe from the villainous Saint George who has kept himself alive over centuries by drinking dragons’ blood.

Review

“The Dragon in the Sock Drawer is funny and wonderfully written—a tall tale adventure that will surely grab young readers.”—Mary Pope Osborne, bestselling author of the Magic Tree House series

About the Author

Kate Klimo first got the idea for this book many years ago when her three sons were small, and she came across a geode lying among the rolled up socks in one of their sock drawers. 
Now that her sons are all grown up, she has finally found the time to write the story down.
When she is not writing, Kate is a children’s book publisher.
She lives in Upstate New York with her husband, Harry, three horses, and one grandcat.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

chapter oneTHUNDER EGGOn the first day of summer, Jesse, his cousin Daisy, and his uncle Joe went to High Peak. 
Uncle Joe had come to look for rocks.
Jesse and Daisy had mostly come for the ride.
Upon reaching the windy summit of High Peak, Jesse took one look at the view and bent over to pick up a rock.
It made him feel dizzy to look down from the mountain, which was doing a pretty good job of living up to its name.
Besides, maybe the rock would actually weigh him down enough to keep him from blowing away.From Goldmine City (a big name for a small town), High Peak was sometimes visible.
It rose in the distance like a delicious dessert topped with whipped cream.
The whipped cream was snow, which was always there, even on the hottest day of the year.Jesse was on the mountain for the first time.
Uplose, the snow didn’t look so good.
It looked sort of crusty and dirty, and it was much colder on the mountaintop than it was down in Goldmine City.
Jesse’s sweatshirt was not doing much to keep him warm.Jesse had been living in Goldmine City with Daisy, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Maggie since Easter vacation in March.
His parents were in Africa, setting up a children’s clinic in a village in Tanzania.
Jesse had traveled with his parents his whole life, but on his tenth birthday he decided that he wanted to live in America.
He wanted to eat American food, go to an American school, and have adventures with Daisy, his favorite cousin, who he had been visiting for three weeks every summer of every year of his life.These days, Jesse wore two watches on his left wrist, one with a blue band and one with a black band.
The watch with the black band told him the time in Goldmine City.
The watch with the blue band told him the time in Tanzania.
It was two o’clock here and midnight there.
He imagined his parents asleep beneath mosquito netting in their hut, surrounded by snakes as long as cars and bugs as big as chipmunks.
On the whole, even given the extreme elevation, he was happier here with Daisy.Jesse went over to where Daisy was sitting to find out what she was doing.
Anyone seeing them together would think they were friends rather than family, because they looked nothing alike.
They were both ten years old, but Jesse was small for his age and sturdy, with brown eyes and shaggy brown hair.
Daisy was fair-haired and tall and thin.
The wind whipped her hair, which was as pale and fine as corn silk.
The tips of her ears, which poked through her hair like an elf ’s, were bright pink.
The tip of her nose matched.Daisy looked up and smiled at Jesse through lips blue with cold.
Then she went back to sketching a flower that was poking out of the snow.
Her pencil was sticking out of the sleeve of her sweatshirt, which she had pulled over her hand to keep it warm.
A wildflower handbook was open, its pages weighted down at the edges with small stones.
Her eyes went from flower to sketch to handbook and back again.
What rocks were for her father, flowers were for Daisy.
She liked to say: “Not knowing the names of the flowers is like not knowing the names of your own brothers and sisters.”“What kind is it?” Jesse asked.“I’m pretty sure it’s Prunella vulgaris,” she said.“It’s totally magical.
Its folk name is self-heal.”“Cool,” he said.
“What does it heal?”“The Indians used to put it on boils,” she said.“Boils.
Gross,” he said.Daisy carefully picked the wildflower and laid it between the pages of her notebook, right next to her sketch.
She printed the name in neat block letters beneath the sketch and then turned the page.
At home, she would transfer the specimen to her wildflower press, and, when it was dried, she would frame it.
She had over twenty varieties of wildflowers already framed, her contribution to their Museum of Magic.
The two cousins’ way of keeping in touch over the years had been by reading the same books of fantasy.
They were convinced that sooner or later they would have a magical adventure of their own.
While they waited, they saw magic in everything around them: in flowers and seashells, in birds and animals, even in old bottles and doorknobs.Daisy gave Jesse a sidelong look.
“You okay?” she asked.
She knew about his fear of heights.
On the hike up the mountain, she had stopped practically every tenth step to ask him the same question.Jesse nodded and held up the rock to show her that he was keeping busy, but Daisy had already moved on to the next wildflower.
Jesse closed his eyes and thought about the e-mail message he would write to his parents when he got back to the house:Dear Mom and Dad, I finally got to High Peak.
It is pretty high for an old volcano.
But it is frozen stiff now.
The snow looks sort of like whipped cream–Jesse stopped cold.“Let me out!”Jesse’s eyes snapped open.
The voice sounded close and far away at the same time, like the music leaking out of somebody else’s earphones.
Jesse looked around.
Daisy and Uncle Joe were the only other people on the mountaintop.
Uncle Joe was bending over, tapping a boulder with a small pickax.
Daisy was flipping back and forth through her handbook.
Then Jesse saw a man standing not far away.
The man was poking around with a stick, the tail of his long black coat trailing in the snow.
He was a bit strange-looking, but he clearly wasn’t calling to Jesse.“Jesse!”There it was again!“Jesseeee! Let.
Me.
Out!”Jesse looked down.
Either he was going crazy or the voice was coming from the rock in his hand.
He held it up to his ear.“Let! Me! Out!” said the rock.
Or was the voice coming from something inside the rock?Jesse held the rock at arm’s length and stared atit.
Uncle Joe liked to say: “If you see a rock that talks to you, pick it up and bring it home.” Jesse had always been pretty sure that Uncle Joe did not mean this for real.
But now he wondered.
The rock looked ordinary.
It was round and nubby, the color of oatmeal with blackberry bits in it, including the green leafy part.
It was warm from the sun and fit his hand like a softball.“Jesse.
Tiger!” said the rock.“Huh? What did you say?” he whispered to the rock.
Almost no one knew that Jesse’s middle name was Tiger.“Jesse! Tiger!!” said the rock again, vibrating in Jesse’s hand.“Daze?” he called out to his cousin, holding the rock up over his head.
“This rock–” He stopped.
He didn’t know quite how to put it.
He didn’t want her to think that his fear of heights had made him wacky or anything.Then again, maybe that’s exactly what’s happening, he thought.Daisy took one look at the rock, then leaped up and ran over to him.
She did a dance, like a happy little prospector who had just struck gold.
“Jesse!” she said.
“You found one! A thunder egg!” She pounded him on the back.Uncle Joe was always talking about thunder eggs.
There were lots of them in the area.
They were also called geodes, and they were filled with agate.
When you cracked one open, there were beautiful crystals inside.“Do thunder eggs talk?” Jesse asked, trying to make his question sound like a joke.Daisy grinned at him and gave him a playful shove.
“Sure they do.
This one’s saying, ‘Take me home, Jesse.
Take me home and open me up.’ Come on.
Let’s show my pops.”She dragged Jesse over to Uncle Joe.
“Poppy, look what Jesse just found.”When Uncle Joe saw Jesse’s rock, he straightened up.
Then he took off his cap and tugged his long, graying ponytail.
His cap was purple, with the words ROCK STAR inscribed in orange letters on the bill.
It was a pretty funny joke, if you were a geologist like Uncle Joe.“Sure looks like a geode to me,” said Uncle Joe.
“Congratulations, Jesse.
She’s a beauty.”Jesse squinted up at his uncle.
“How do you know it’s a girl?”“Because,” said Uncle Joe with a wink, “I speak the secret language of rocks.”Then how come this rock is talking to me instead of to you? Jesse wanted to ask.
But he didn’t say anything.
Instead, he wrapped the thunder egg in a clean blue bandanna and gently placed it in the pouch of his sweatshirt.“Okay, guys!” said Uncle Joe.
He put his cap back on.
“I think we can call it a day here.
Let’s head back down and take Jesse’s thunder egg to the Rock Shop.”As they made their way across the summit back to the hiking path, they passed the strange man in the black coat, who stopped poking with his stick and stared at them as they went by.
The sunlight glinting off his round wire-rim glasses made him look eerily as if he didn’t have any eyes.
Jesse quickly looked away.
In the pouch of his sweatshirt, the thunder egg zapped him so hard he yelped.Daisy turned and gave him a look.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”“I’m fine!” he said, his face burning.The Rock Shop was an old garden shed behind the house.
It had a worktable, shelves for Uncle Joe’s rocks, filing cabinets for his notes, and all the tools of his trade, including a special one for cutting open a thunder egg.Uncle Joe had cut open thousands of thunder eggs in his life but he still got a kick out of doing it.
He put on his goggles and heavy work gloves before picking up his big band saw.
Jesse wasn’t convinced that cutting open the rock was the right thing to do.
What if doing that hurt whatever was inside? He covered his mouth, pretending to stifle a yawn as he whispered to the thunder egg, “Are you okay with this?”The thunder egg vibrated warmly in his hand.
Jesse decided to take that as a yes.Jesse was still hesitant to hand the rock over to his uncle.
“You’ll be careful, won’t you?” Jesse said.
“I mean, this won’t, um, hurt or damage the crystals inside, will it?”Uncle Joe smiled kindly.
“I won’t harm a single one of them.
I promise.” He held out a gloved hand.Daisy gave her cousin a gentle shove.
“Come on, Jessie Tiger.
Let’s get a look at those crystals.”“Goggles first, guys,” Uncle Joe said.Daisy went to a shelf and got two pairs of goggles.
She tossed a pair to Jesse.
Jesse almost dropped them, because just then the rock hissed, “Jesssss–Jesssss–Jesssss–Jesssss.”Jesse’s glance slid from Daisy to Uncle Joe.
Neither one of them seemed to have heard the rock.
Arm trembling, Jesse handed the thunder egg to Uncle Joe.
He winced as his uncle set down the saw and placed the rock between the iron jaws of a vise.
He winced again as Uncle Joe spun the bolt and tightened the jaws around the thunder egg.“Stand back, guys,” said Uncle Joe.Jesse and Daisy took one step away from him.
Uncle Joe picked up the saw and turned on the motor.
It roared to life, vibrating mightily.
Then Uncle Joe put the whirring blade to the top of the rock.“Wait!” Jesse hollered over the noise of the machine.Uncle Joe looked up.
He switched off the saw and pushed up his goggles.
“What is it, Jesse?” he asked.Jesse faltered.
“It seems like a pretty delicate thing,” he said.
“I really, really, really don’t want to hurt it.”Daisy rolled her eyes.
“Poppy’s only cut open a million rocks.
I think he knows what he’s doing, Jesse.
Really.”Uncle Joe spoke very calmly.
“How about this? How about if I use the machine to cut a shallow groove in the rock? Then I’ll turn it off and we can crack it open the rest of the way, carefully and gently, with a small chisel and a soft mallet.”Jesse’s chest heaved with relief.
He nodded gratefully.
“Thanks, Uncle Joe.
That sounds good.” Uncle Joe smiled at Jesse.
“Okay if I switch on the saw?”“Sure,” said Jesse.
“Go ahead.” But he regretted this decision as soon as he heard the rock scream again above the noise of the saw.
Just as Jesse was about to lunge over to Uncle Joe, the saw coughed and made a crackling sound.Uncle Joe switched it off.
“Well, I’ll be,” he said, holding up the saw so Jesse and Daisy could see it.
The blade had split in two.
Jesse and Daisy stepped toward the worktable.
The egg wasn’t even nicked.

From AudioFile

Book One of the Dragon Keeper series will have great appeal for the Magic Treehouse crowd. 
Walter Mayes conveys this charming fantasy with the gleeful enthusiasm of two kids getting a puppy, only in this case it's a baby dragon.
Cousins Jesse and Daisy find what they think is a geode while rock hounding one day, only to find that it can't be cracked open and it seems to be talking to them.
Mayes makes these two into kids listeners will cheer for by giving them cheerful, upbeat personalities and an "up and at 'em" perseverance.
He manages to impart a vulnerability to the loud and bossy new dragon that will keep listeners' sympathy while making them laugh.
Children will find much to be satisfied with here.
D.G.
© AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Tags

Children's Books,Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths,Dragons,Science Fiction & Fantasy,Fantasy & Magic,Action & Adventure

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Comment List (Total:17)

  •     This is the story of ten-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy, who look every day for something magical to happen to them.They find what they believe is a geode called a Thunder egg. The "Thunder egg," though, turns out to be a dragon egg - and thus begins the story of two young Dragon Keepers.I thoroughly enjoyed THE DRAGON IN THE SOCK DRAWER from beginning to end. Jesse and Daisy learn as the days pass how to take care of their new charge. The story flowed very well and I can't wait to read more about the Dragon Keepers.I think this story would be good for any child, although it is recommended for 9-12 year olds. I was very happy to see two characters this young stand up for themselves and their dragon.I highly recommend this book, as it will capture the attention of kids and adults alike.Reviewed by: Breia "The Brain" Brickey

  •     It was a very good awesome atventure book a lot of surprise in the book writing more wood be fantastic

  •     I would recommend this book to fantasylovers .it made me feel part of the story. I love this book

  •     Nice chapter book for the teen. Will be back for the rest of the series.

  •     As a read aloud this has kept the five-year-old entranced for a half an hour at a time. It's a great way to get them interested in chapter books. And, it's good fun!

  •     Ten-year-old cousins Jesse and Daisy have always dreamed of having a magical adventure, so when a thunder egg hatches and a baby dragon appears, the two kids are entranced. Soon they discover the task of being a Dragon Keeper is demanding - and they are charged with keeping Emmy safe from the villainous Saint George, who drinks dragon's blood. THE DRAGON IN THE SOCK DRAWER is a fun story middle-grade fantasy readers will find compelling.

  •     It's a good read for a young reader

  •     nice for early chapter book readers

  •     I used this book for a third grade extended year program. The students loved the book. They kept begging to read just one more chapter!

  •     I read this book out loud to my two boys - ages 6 and 7.5. They love all things magic, fantasy and mystery.

  •     GF loves dragons and she thought this was a very cute book. good for all ages, I recommend if you give it as a gift to wrap it in socks

  •     Given as a gift. Was appreciated.

  •     This is a review from my daughter, Taylor. Hello, I am Taylor. I am 5 years old. I like this book so much I think it should be for kids 4 to 10. I want Kate to keep writing more books with Jessie, Daisy and Emmy. I think it's really great. My favorite part was when Emmy turned herself into a ..... (We don't want to give the story away).

  •     I read this book to my first-grader, and it really appeals to her imagination. It's a little beyond her reading level (probably 3rd-grade level, I'd say), but reading it to her motivates her to want to read books without pictures (only the chapter heads have pictures). We'll be starting volume 2 soon -- I hope more keep coming.Reading a chapter aloud takes about 15-20 minutes (there are about a dozen chapters, fairly evenly sized).In terms of adult-appeal, it isn't quite as good as e.g. Harry Potter, but the plot line and characterization is still sufficient to keep one from falling over with boredom. There is enough in there to have good chats with my children about the story and the topics. The protagonists (Daisy and Jesse, about ten years old) aren't goody two-shoes, but they're pretty sensible children overall -- I don't have to worry about the book imbuing poor habits (though there is a lesson about telling the truth in there).Highly recommended.

  •     If you like dragons you will like this book because this book is about a dragon that hides in a sock drawer. The Dragon in a Sock Drawer by Kate Klimo is a fantasy and the setting is day and night and on a high peek and in a house. Jessie and Daisy are very alert because they knew what was going on. One problem was this doctor came and took the dragon to his lab. They also had a problem finding what she would eat. The dragon, Emmy, is my favorite character because she hides in a sock drawer which was where the kids hid her.The dragon reminded me of a kid in my class that is silly. My text-to-self connections is that my mom and I sometimes make a mess in the kitchen, just like Jessie and Daisy.I like this book because it has a dragon who has to hide in a sock drawer. My favorite part is when they made a mess in the kitchen trying to find Emmy some food. My least favorite part was when the doctor took the dragon to his lab. Instead of a doctor I would have liked an animal shelter person to come to their door. I think boys and girls, ages 7-11 would enjoy this book.

  •     When cousins Jesse and Daisy ("Daze") find a dragon egg, they soon become keepers of a baby dragon called Emmy. Silly plot contrivances (such as Jesse knowing that someone evil is searching for the dragon, yet he posts signs about a "missing lizard" all over town anyway) really hold the story back.The prose here is simple and workmanlike, rarely flashy but generally serviceable for the intended audience. For example: "Anyone seeing them together would think they were friends instead of family, because they looked nothing alike. They were both ten years old, but Jesse was small for his age and sturdy, with brown eyes and shaggy brown hair. Daisy was fair-haired and tall and thin. " It's effective, but not sparkling by any means.The writing shines brightest in the few descriptive passages devoted to the newborn dragon. Here's one of my favorite descriptions in the book: "It was no bigger than a newborn kitten. Its bottom half was stout and covered with shiny scales. They were green (or blue, depending on how you moved your head) with the rainbow sheen of oil on a puddle. Sprouting from its shoulder blades were two dark green bumps, not so much wings as the idea of wings. Two long dark green ridges ran down its back and along its pointed tail. Its head was like a seahorse's, only broader."The dragon in question, Emerald (Emmy for short) seems to have the vocabulary of ET The Extra Terrestrial: "Wa. Ter. Goooooood." And: "Emm. Eee. Like Rrrrocckkk!" It can be annoying to read aloud, but kids (at least my niece and nephew, to whom I read it) like the exaggerated way of speaking.Generally speaking, the book seems to think it's funnier than it really is, but there are a few amusing scenes. For example, at one point the cousins attempt to find something for Emmy to eat and she rejects everything in the kitchen. This was laugh-out-loud hilarious to my niece and nephew; they loved it. Lots of giggles.Overall: A decent read for younger kids. The interesting premise is not helped by largely mundane writing, nor are either of the two main characters particularly compelling or well developed, but younger kids will most likely be distracted by the silly dragon antics enough not to mind.I'm not terribly excited to read book two to my niece and nephew, but they enjoyed this first entry enough that they're looking forward to it. Which I suppose is all that really matters!

  •     excellent series!

 

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