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For Young Readers by Lindsey and Paige Oliver
The Ice Dragon is nice intro to the fantasy genre
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    An easy to read yet striking fantasy book for young children, George R. R. Martin’s “The Ice Dragon” is a cunningly crafted tale of childhood friendship and the beauty of winter. While many will recognize the author for his adult fantasy and science fiction novels, parents can rest assured that “The Ice Dragon” has none of the mature themes of Martin’s other books. Instead, “The Ice Dragon” focuses on themes of love, friendship and sacrifice.  
    Adara, the book’s 7-year-old heroine, is shunned by the other young people of her village because of her odd personality and love of winter. Lonely and longing for a friend, Adara turns to a creature known as the ice dragon, an entity of winter who most of the villagers see as a curse. Adara feels differently, and when invaders riding fire dragons attempt to attack the village, it is the ice dragon who must save the very people who shunned it.  
    Because of Adara’s distant and cold personality, readers may find it hard to identify with the main character. The story is not told in a straightforward manner. Some of the motifs present in the book weave a larger symbolic tale; while some of the events in the book may seem confusing to children, they are easily explained by an adult.
    These minor details are easily swallowed by the book’s positive points. The pace of the book is slow, but in a way that is easy to digest. Children who cannot read would get just as much enjoyment out of this book if it were read to them. Illustrations add further interest. The prose of “The Ice Dragon” is poetic and beautiful, and children will not encounter many complicated words.  
    All told, “The Ice Dragon” is a wonderful introduction into the fantasy genre and is a book both boys and girls can enjoy. George R.R. Martin has crafted a book for children that reads like a book for adults — a feat that few can accomplish without coming off as patronizing. The sad but eloquent book reads like a dream and is a perfect holiday gift.
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