Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack
Publication Date: September, 2019
Who it’s for: Kids
Set in a fantasy world based on 10th-century Russia, this is the story of Anya, the only Jewish girl in a small village. Things are already hard for her family- other villagers discriminate against them for their faith, and her father was drafted into the Tsar’s army. Now the family is about to be evicted from their home if they can’t pay the tax, and they don’t have the money. But the Tsar is offering a reward for anyone who can find a dangerous river dragon that’s said to live nearby, and Anya is determined to do whatever it takes to get the prize and save her family. She teams up with a boy named Ivan (who has seven older brothers also named Ivan), and they set out to hunt for the monster. There are others on the same quest, including a cold-hearted Viking named Sigurd who wants to kill the dragon before it can be captured. Anya and Ivan discover that the lands around their village are full of hidden magical creatures, and that nothing is what it seems- not even the dragon. They’ll have to make choices about right and wrong, duty and loyalty, and fight to save what they hold dear.