The Heathens and the Dragon

Author: Kate A. Boorman
ISBN: 9781771872478 Categories: Juvenile Fiction, Action & Adventure, Historical, Medieval, Social Themes, Values & Virtues Tags: , ,
Publication Date: 5 September, 2023
Dimensions: 6 x 8.62"

From award-winning author Kate A. Boorman comes her first middle grade historical novel, set in France in the Middle Ages at a time of great religious upheaval. The Heathens and the Dragon: A 13th-Century Adventure stars twelve-year-old Elodie, a resourceful guardian to her little brother Bertran and his often willful pet chicken Codet. Together with Joie, a young troubadour, they perform for their very survival.

Elodie works hard to keep a clean house for her master, take care of her little brother, and guard the secret pagan beliefs she was taught by the mother they recently lost. But the world around her is growing suspicious of paganism and violent toward non-Christians. When Crusaders arrive to arrest her kindly master, a Cathar, for heresy, he flees, and the orphans Elodie and Bertran try to follow his trail.

Armed only with meagre supplies and a few good stories, and accompanied–to Elodie’s dismay–by Bertran’s pet chicken, they head into the forest, where they soon become lost. Luckily, they stumble upon a penniless female troubadour, Joie, who has mysteriously left court life and appears eager to help them. To earn money and food, the trio improvises a spectacle involving storytelling, music, and a chicken-assisted magic trick. The crowd’s applause almost allows Elodie to forget that her dragon tale dishonours an origin story sacred to her mother.

When Joie’s own secrets emerge, Elodie is faced with a new dilemma. With Crusaders hovering and a voracious audience clamouring, Elodie realizes that, to save herself and Bertran, she’ll need to decide who to trust–and who to betray.

About the Author

Kate A. Boorman is an author from Edmonton, Alberta, with roots in the small town of Rimbey. Her books have been published in four world territories and have appeared on a variety of Best Of lists, from >em>Seventeen to O! The Oprah Magazine. The first book in her acclaimed Winterkill trilogy won the Alberta Writers’ Guild Award for Children’s Fiction. Her latest YA, Into the Sublime, was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. The Heathens and the Dragon is Kate’s middle grade debut. When she is not writing, she is wrangling her family and dreaming up travel to faraway lands.


Praise for The Heathens and the Dragon:

“An adventure, a quest, a tale of found family and the power of stories . . . I adore this book.”
–Dana Alison Levy, acclaimed author of the Family Fletcher books

“Gripping, enchanting, and funny, this is a truly beautiful story about the secrets we keep, the timeless search for belonging, and the possibilities of wonder.”
–Alison Hughes, award-winning author of Fly and Over the Top

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