* this book was kindly sent to me by Barrington Stoke, in exchange for an honest review *

As a middle-grade author, I am always looking to read more children’s fiction. Barrington Stoke are one of my favourite publishers, and I always love receiving their new and upcoming releases.

The Broken Dragon is a contemporary story following Tyra, a young girl who moves in with her nan and is nervous about starting at a new school. Tyra worries that her new classmates will think that she is ‘too much’ or ‘too weird’ - something she believes the children at her previous school thought of her.

Karen McCombie portrays the emotions of this character beautifully, in very few words (this book is only 57 pages long) and with accessible, understandable language. I think this book would really speak to a lot of younger children who feel a little bit lost, and unsure of how to make new friends. 

There is a diverse set of characters in this book, which I think is achieved between the author and the illustrator, Anneli Bray. At the beginning of the book Tyra has just moved in with her nan. I think that children’s fiction having representation of different family dynamics is really important. There are characters of different faiths, and in the illustrations of the playground and birthday party we see that there are children who use wheelchairs, and children with hearing aids (or possibly a Cochlear implant) - this representation is so important for young readers, and I think it was done really well in this book.

The key themes of this story are family, friendship, and kindness. Tyra is an anxious child, and the author doesn’t hold back from showing this, and the effects it can have on your mind and body, in a way that children will be able to understand, and in some cases, connect with. It also shows that stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to new friendships, and that being unique is never a bad thing.

Thank you again to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. The Broken Dragon is available now!