The Dragon of Cripple Creek
By Troy Howell
400 pages for middle grade readers of realistic fiction/fantasy blend – with adventure on the side
Katlin Graham, better known as Kat, is fascinated by gold. She has been all her life. She named her pony Goldie. She had her tooth capped with gold. And when she sees an ad for tours of the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine she won’t rest until she convinces her dad and brother they have the time to visit. Kat, her older brother Dillon, and her father are heading west for a new life, their old one having ended when a freak accident put her mother in a coma and caused them to lose everything.
Once in the mine Kat moves a bit away from the tour. When she tries to get back to the group she has a nasty fall, discovers a rather large gold nugget (perhaps the answer to her family’s problems), and stumbles across a dragon. He is a real live dragon named Ye – the very last one in the world. He is gentle and helpful and wise. Kat knows he is a kind soul and when Ye explains to her the origin of gold she is caught in a moral dilemma. How can she choose between helping her family and respecting her friend’s wishes. Later, back on the surface, the consequences of her choice become clear. She accidentally begins the 21st century gold rush. It is more horrible than she could ever have imagined and Kat decides she must change the course of her action. But how?
There are all sorts of people after Kat and the information about the origin of the gold. There are all sorts of characters – some silly and some somber, some sinister and many selfish. Kat has tough decisions to make and with the help of understanding and family, she does. Read The Dragon of Cripple Creek to see what happens and to compare your choices with those that Kat makes. Sometimes it is hard to know what is right or to understand how one choice is connected to the next and the next down the line.
This is a fun, original book – Ye might not be real, but the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine exists in Colorado. Have fun reading The Dragon of Cripple Creek and let us know what you think.
Check out the book trailer here:The Dragon of Cripple Creek