the journey make.
the hearts will break."
The wise woman's warning rings in Rowan's head as he and six companions set out to climb the forbidden Mountain that towers over their village, Rin. The stream Rin depends on has stopped flowing, and these seven are seeking the source of the problem. But no one who has tried to climb the Mountain has ever returned. Legend has it that there is a dragon at the top; every morning and evening the people hear its roar.
Rowan is terrified. In a village where people pride themselves on being hardy and brave, Rowan has always been timid and shy. He is teased by the other children and belittled by the adults, who whisper that he will never be the man his father was.
This dangerous journey is Rowan's chance to step out of his father's shadow and earn the respect of the village. But, frightened by the perils that lie ahead, Rowan isn't even thinking about this possibility. He's just wondering if he can survive.
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Emily Rodda has written many books for children, including Finders Keepers, which School Library journal dubbed "a lively adventure," and several novels about the likable hero Rowan. The first of these novels, Rowan of Rin, won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Younger Readers Award when it was first published. In fact, Emily Rodda has won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award an unprecedented five times. A former editor, Ms. Rodda is also the best-selling author of adult mysteries under the name Jennifer Rowe. She lives in Australia.From Booklist:
Gr. 3-6. Rodda's new fantasy-adventure series (three other titles are to follow within a year) introduces the people of Rin, who live in the shadow of the Mountain ruled by a fierce but unseen dragon. When the community's water source suddenly dries up, and the dragon ceases his daily roars, some of the bravest villagers prepare to travel up the Mountain to investigate the problem. Young Rowan, a herder who fears he will never be as brave as his late father, must accompany the group because only he can make the magical map reveal its necessary clues. One by one, each strong adventurer confronts his own greatest fears and turns back, leaving only Rowan to deal with the fire-breathing dragon on the summit. Readers would have been satisfied had they simply been given an exciting adventure story. But this talented Australian writer has also given them a fully conceived fantasy world complete with its own flora and fauna, a well-developed back story, and fascinating characters. This tightly plotted mystery sprinkled with clever rhyming clues is somewhat reminiscent of Tom McGowen's the Magician's Apprentice series (1987), and it should be popular with young readers everywhere. Kay Weisman
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