Saturday, February 3, 2018
Book Review: 'Sign of the Green Dragon' by C. Lee McKenzie
California author C. Lee McKenzie now has eight books published and with each book her stature grows. Her current release is SIGN OF THE GREEN DRAGON and while Lee places this book in her Middle Age category (as opposed to Young Adult) she still is able to create a dazzling sense of appreciation for magic, spells, strange objects and stranger encounters that make her books so inviting.
From Lee’s beautifully designed website she offers a synopsis of her new book, as beautifully written as her story: ‘‘Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure. After six months in a new school, Sam’s finally fitting in. He’s the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam’s guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen. When his teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a crumbling skeleton clutches a map with a cryptic note, promising treasure if the finder reveals the truth about an old murder and returns the remains of the victim to China. Is the note a hoax? Maybe. But what does Sam have to lose? His uncle already treats him like a nuisance. With Joey and Roger, he sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure. When finally some puzzle pieces start to make sense, they become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb.’
Lee’s graceful prose style is sophisticated enough for adult readers and the story is such that it provides a terrific escape for a summer’s vacation read – if you can abscond it from the middle age audience for whom it was written. A solid hit, this. Grady Harp, August 16
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