GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Dragon Girl, The Secret Valley by Jeff Weigel


Eleven-year-old Alanna and her older brother Hamel are orphans and doing their best to take care of each other until one day Alanna stumbles upon a cave full of dragon eggs. When the eggs hatch with no mother dragon in sight, Alanna decides to take care of the babies herself, even creating a clever costume so that the babies think she, too, is a dragon. With their large appetites and accidental fire burps, Alanna learns that dragon babies are hard work! And when a mama dragon finally comes to claim the babies, Alanna's costume is so convincing that she is swept along for the ride as they journey to Dragon Rock, a mysterious magnetic force that draws dragons of all shapes and sizes to a magical, untouched valley.


Dragon-lovers are sure to love this new series. I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel that revolves around a young girl's efforts to help some baby dragons survive. The black and white illustrations are delightfully expressive and detailed.  The dragons are an interesting combination of bird, lizard, and dinosaur making them fun to look at and the faux dragon information at the end is a fun touch as well. The story has a medieval feel to it but with a steampunk twist.  Alanna is a delightfully spunky heroine who is determined to help the dragons despite their fierce reputation, but when her brother meets up with a dragon killer knight it complicates things mightily.  The plot moves quickly with lots of action. A must for any dragon-loving graphic novel reader.


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