By Troy Howell, Amulet Books, $16.95, 384 pages

10The Dragon of Cripple Creek is the story of a young girl dealing with the loss of her mother, her home, and in some respects her whole world. From a young age Kat Graham has had an obsession with gold. This obsession leads Kat, her father, and her brother to an old gold mine in the American West. After falling down a mine shaft Kat meets Ye, the last of the dragons. Through a series of unfortunate events Kat ends up putting Ye’s life in danger. Now Kat needs to save Ye’s life and that of her family.

The Dragon of Cripple Creek is a children’s book with a lot more to offer. Though it starts out slow you eventually realize that this little girl is hurting. Through Kat’s memories you learn about the struggles and tragedy that have shaped who she is. Sometimes you like her and sometimes you don’t, but through it all she remains truthful and open, sharing her story with humor and honesty. With wonderful imagery and fun fantasy your tween will enjoy this touching adventure start to finish.

Reviewed by Rebecca Feuerbacher