City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm by Jaimal Yogis and Vivian Truong
Graphix / Scholastic
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Ancient dragons plus scrappy, resourceful, empathetic kids are two great tastes that taste great together in City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm. The story introduces the reader to Grace, a grieving young girl who has just moved to Hong Kong with her mother and new stepfather for a fresh start. Exploring her new city on a school field trip places Grace in the path of a mysterious old woman who gifts her with a dragon’s egg. Grace, along with some newfound friends, suddenly find themselves on a race to discover the origins of this dragon and its connection to Grace, while also protecting it and themselves from strange and sinister forces that seem to be following them.
This book is an excellent, well-paced adventure with gorgeous art, surprises around every corner, and likable, relatable characters. It not only delves into fantasy and mythology in a way that keeps the reader invested, it also deals with the very relatable themes of discovering your roots, exploring self identity, making new friends, dealing with grief, and doing the right thing even though it can be tough.
Hand City of Dragons: The Awakening Storm to fans of the Lightfall series by Tim Probert, or to readers who enjoy low-fantasy adventure stories with mythological elements.
Other Nominated Titles:
- Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure by Lewis Hancox (June 7, 2022)
- Scout Is Not a Band Kid by Jade Armstrong (April 5, 2022)
- Thieves by Lucie Bryon (October 4, 2022)
- Miss Quinces: A Graphic Novel by Kat Fajardo (May 3, 2022)
- Demon in the Woods: A Shadow and Bone Graphic Novel by Leigh Bardugo and Dani Pendergast (September 27, 2022)
- Lost Lad London, vol. 1 by Shima Shinya (May 24, 2022)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.