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  • Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway
  • Written by Kate Klimo
    Illustrated by John Shroades
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780375855900
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  • Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway
  • Written by Kate Klimo
    Illustrated by John Shroades
  • Format: Hardcover Library Binding | ISBN: 9780375955891
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  • Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway
  • Written by Kate Klimo
    Illustrated by John Shroades
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Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway

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Written by Kate KlimoAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Kate Klimo
Illustrated by John ShroadesAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by John Shroades

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On Sale: September 22, 2009
Pages: 176 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89293-6
Published by : Random House Books for Young Readers RH Childrens Books
Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
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Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

The Dragon Keepers have a new mission!

It's been raining for days, and dragon keepers Jesse and Daisy have been stuck inside with their dragon, Emmy. As soon as the rain stops, they are out of the house in a flash. First on their list of things to do? To find out what the villainous Dr. St. George—a dragon slayer in disguise—is up to.

But Dr. St. George isn’t in his office at the college, and all of his stuff is gone! Jesse, Daisy, and Emmy quickly discover St. George’s latest evil plan: to take over the forest and find the magic golden ax that is buried there. To make matters worse, he has also enslaved the mythical beings that are returning to Goldmine City. Can the two dragon keepers and their dragon free the hobgoblins and dryads under St. George’s power and return the forest to right?


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt

Chapter One    

An Ill Wind    

Dear Mom and Dad,

It is still raining. The local weather guy says it's a record. Not as bad as India that time the Jeep floated away, but pretty bad. Our dog, Emmy, got tired of being cooped up in the garage. She got out and ran down the driveway into the street. Aunt Maggie went nuts! She made these poor guys come in the rain and put in an invisible fence. It's this underground wire that is supposed to keep the dog in the yard. One step over it and whammo, she really gets zapped. (Don't tell Aunt Maggie,but Emmy runs right over it anyway!)
    

Ten-year-old Jesse reread his e-mail. He hadn't included the information that the dog had turned back into a dragon for an instant the first time she was zapped, and that Mrs. Nosy-Britches, who lived across the street, was standing at her mailbox at the exact moment the zap happened.  

"It's the oddest thing," Mrs. Nosy-Britches kept saying to anyone who would listen, "but I could swear I saw this very large lizard in the driveway across the street. If I didn't know better, I'd swear it was some sort of a dragon."  

Jesse finished and sent the e-mail. He listened to the rain rattling on the roof and watched the slide show on the screen saver. The pictures were of him and his parents in some of the places where they had traveled and lived. Looking at it made him happy, if a little homesick for his parents and even the places: India, Africa, Costa Rica. . . . When he had first come to America to stay with his cousin Daisy, who was also ten, he had been so homesick that he had worn two wristwatches, one showing the time in the U.S. and the other the time in Africa, where his parents were. These days he wore just the one watch showing American time, but when there wasn't quite enough to keep him busy, like now, he missed his parents.  

Jesse was just shutting down the computer when he heard Daisy scream out his name. He leaped up, tore downstairs, slid down the hall in his socks, and collided with the kitchen table.  

"What?" he said, panting. "What is it, Daze?"  

Daisy was standing on a footstool gazing out the window over the sink. Her long white-blond hair was tucked behind her ears, which were pointy like an elf's and bright pink with excitement.  

"Jess, look!" she said, tapping the windowpane.  

Jesse looked, but the panes were fogging up from Daisy's breath. "What are we looking at?" he asked.  

"Don't you see?" Daisy whispered. "There and there?"  

Jesse boosted himself up onto the edge of the sink, leaned over, and rubbed a clear spot in the bottom pane. He stared hard through the porthole into the side yard. Trunks and leaves and branches were all churned up into one great green swarming, sopping mess.  

"Boy, oh, boy," he said, mustering some appreciation for the view. "The wind sure is blowing hard."  

Daisy tugged impatiently at the hood of his sweatshirt. "The two trees, Jess. See them?"  

"Which two trees?" he said.  

She groaned. "Get down and let me look."  

They switched places. Daisy pointed and said, "They're standing right there, exactly ten feet from the house. I swear, Jess, those trees were not there before."  

Jesse shivered. "How can you tell?" he asked.  

"Simple. There isn't either a Douglas fir or a quaking aspen growing in our side yard," Daisy said, getting down from the sink. "Plus they both have a bright strip of cloth or ribbon or something wrapped around their trunks. You can't miss them."   Even though he had been living in Daisy's house for nearly six months, Jesse didn't know every tree in the yard. That was Daisy's thing. Her favorite saying was "Not knowing the names of the flowers and the trees is like not knowing the names of your own sisters and brothers."
Kate Klimo

About Kate Klimo

Kate Klimo - Dragon Keepers #2: The Dragon in the Driveway
Tales of a Fourth Grade Fantasy Writer
It all began in the fourth grade when my best friend, Justine and I--inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, Curdie and the Princess, The Wonderful Journey to the Mushroom Planet, the books of E. Nesbit (and countless other works of fantasy recommended to us by our imperious rouge-cheeked librarian, Mrs. Thackeray)--embarked upon a fantasy epic of our own. We wrote our epic in multi-colored inks (Justine had gotten this nifty set of colored plastic quills for her birthday) in a series of classic black and white composition notebooks, whose white spaces we colored in so that every time we touched them, we got rainbows on our fingertips. I can’t remember the plot but I do know that it featured a cast of unicorns, elves, fairies, and an evil magician whose name, Pezlar, was inspired by our favorite candy. Our characters lived on islands that were shaped in their own likenesses; for instance, the unicorns lived on an island shaped like a unicorn head, where there was, naturally, a Cape Horn and a Beard Bay. Whenever we had writer’s block, we simply drew maps. We were writing (and drawing), not so much for posterity as to conjure a world that, we fervently hoped, would one day open its magical portals and take us in. The world shimmered with latent magic and we lived our days in a state of heightened expectation. When would the magic reveal itself?

Those Magical Oldsters
Taking our cue from the Professor in the Narnia books, Mary Poppins, and Mrs. Pigglewiggle, old people were especially magical to us. Ike Raff, the grumpy old man who owned the cigar store; Charlie Hicks, the seven-foot-tall homeless man who marched in the Memorial Day parade in a full Cherokee regalia, and even the scary Mrs. Thackeray were, we suspected, distinguished emissaries from magical lands. To their credit, they played it straight when, with burning intensity, we asked them such questions as, “Where do you really come from?” and “How did you get here?” “Did you fly, teleport, or use a traveling spell?”

Step right up to the Museum of Magic
Magical talismans were vitally important to us. We collected beach glass, horse chestnuts, antique buttons, old coins, and even a green crystal doorknob. And, yes, we had our own Museum of Magic that we set up in Justine’s side yard, which was just across the street from the beach. I say we set it up. I’m not sure we ever had any paying customers. We were raising funds so that we could buy the fabric to make long hunter-green capes with hoods. These were the outfits we planned to wear when we passed through the magical portals. We must have raised the funds somehow, because we actually stitched up the capes on my mother’s sewing machine. How proud we were of them! So you can imagine how crushed we were when we wore them into town one day and somebody asked us which 4-H troupe we belonged to.

Magical Portals
We looked everywhere for them: Mr. Raff’s cigar store (where we would later buy our Beatles fan mags), an old wooden boat house down at the beach, an abandoned rococo-baroque Victorian mansion near my house just bristling with magical possibilities.
One Friday night, before our favorite TV show, Twilight Zone, came on at 9:30, we took a candle and some matches and made a pilgrimage to the Victorian mansion. It was a cold and windy night, I recall, and when we spied a broken window off the porch, it seemed to say to us, “Trespass, please!” With lit candle, we solemnly walked from room to room, searching for the portal. When we got to the third floor landing, the candle suddenly flared up and then guttered. We screamed and tore out of that place back to my mother’s warm, safe kitchen. Magic, we concluded, was sometimes a pretty scary proposition. We steeled ourselves and determined to make a return trip to the ruined mansion. We never managed that second trip because a wrecker ball rolled in and leveled the site of our closest brush with magic. A branch of the U.S. Post Office took its place and, although we never attempted to break in (Federal Offense!), we did loiter in the foyer, searching for magical signs among the Wanted Posters and the public notices.

Adolescence Rears Its Ugly Head
Looking back on those years, I see that, for us, magic was a kind of pagan belief system. It was both an affirmation of and an escape from life. But maintaining our belief system was not always easy. It was often downright burdensome. We had our rituals to observe, and our obligations, too. (We held weekly classes for our stuffed animals in the faerie arts, complete with lesson plans and demonstration models). Our beliefs isolated us from the other kids (who already suspected we were more than a little bit tetched). There came a time when a kind of low-grade dread began to steal over us; dread of the day when, like Susan Pevense, we would wake up and want to wear lipstick and stockings. And of course, that day did dawn, slowly enough to be agonizing. It started with the Beatles. We simply redirected all that magical intensity in the direction of the Fab 4. Instead of believing in portals, we believed we would one day not only get to meet them, but get to marry them (Justine, John; me, Paul). After that, it was a just small step to wearing lipstick (well, Mary Quant lip gloss, in any case), stockings (fish net), mini skirts (tweed and veddy British) and, before we knew it, we were looking back on our days of magic with patronizing fondness.

Reader, I Wrote
When I grew up, I still wanted to write but writing for children seemed, well, childish. I determined to be a writer of Adult Books, and succeeded (on a very modest level). But what can I tell you? The lack of magic in the adult world, as much from a reader’s standpoint as a writer’s, eventually got to me. I missed the magic, and years later, here I am, drawn back to its portals. I even find myself believing again. I believe that the world in which we live, the world of consensus reality, is but one small room in a mansion full of rooms. I believe that writing and reading are two surefire ways to get access to the other rooms. And nowadays, it is my sole ambition to grow up to be one of those old people who just might be mistaken for a distinguished emissary from a magical land.
Do I fly, teleport, or cast traveling spells?
The answer to all of the above is yes!

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