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The Dragon's Boy

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  28 reviews
"In order to gain wisdom, you must learn to read inter linea, between the lines."

Artos doesn't know who his parents are, just that kindly Sir Ector and Lady Marion took him into their castle when he was a baby. Though Sir Ector raises him as one of his sons, Artos never feels he truly belongs. The other boys of the castle -- Cai, Bedvere, and Lancot -- make fun of him and
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 30th 1990 by HarperCollins Publishers
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450th out of 872 books — 1,774 voters
The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane YolenBriar Rose by Jane YolenGirl in a Cage by Jane YolenSister Light, Sister Dark by Jane YolenWhite Jenna by Jane Yolen
The Best of Jane Yolen
32nd out of 119 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

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13-year-old Artos stumbles across a cave while searching for Sir Ector's hound, and the thundering voice of a dragon ropes him into stew in exchange for wisdom each week. Slowly Artos begins to rethink his world and his place in it, just as he finally wins the respect of larger knights-to-be who have been pummeling and teasing him for years.

This is a great book to hand to readers who can handle advanced vocabulary but aren't ready for mature content (or middle school boys). A short read that ca
Sharon Tyler
The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolan is a children's chapter book in the Arthurian tradition. Artos is a lonely and regularly teased boy in the castle of Sir Ector. One day he is tasked with chasing down a dog that has run off- and somehow ends p in a mysterious cave where he meets a dragon that offers him wisdom. Despite his fear, Artos becomes the dragon's student and learns things he never imagined. Atros receives wisdom of all kinds from the dragon, but still wants to be recognized as a worthy fri ...more
THE DRAGON'S BOY is a sweet, short retelling of the King Arthur mythos. It's similar to the Disney movie "The Sword In the Stone" but it reshapes things like Merlin and that sword in subtly different ways. For such a short book, there's quite a large twist at the end, but it's an interesting one. Sick of being bullied by the older boys at Sir Ector's small castle, Artos is happy to find a dragon who offers him wisdom in exchange for pots of gravy with meat. Artos complies, and learns, but soon i ...more
Very disappointing read, entirely too short even for a child's book. Author could have gone so much further, and should have, to expect the electronic-edition book that I unfortunately purchased to be worth $6. Shallow characters, poor story-line, improbable scenes. And, when I read the product details after I finished nibbling this unsatisfying morsel, I found the thing should have been 128 pages... I only got 82. Which included several pages about the author. If I could return for refund, I wo ...more
Wayne McCoy
Young Artos lives in Sir Ector's castle and is shoved around by the other boys. One day, while tracking down a wayward hound, he discovers a cave that has a dragon living in it. The dragon offers him wisdom in exchange for pots of gravy and meat.

It's a grand tale of young King Arthur with some familiar characters. He doesn't become king by the end of this book, but he's well on his way to understanding how to lead people. He gains some understanding of himself and the people around him as well.
“Uncoiling the Mythos of the Pendragon”

A master at creating and recreating the mythos of the Arthurian legend (see MERLIN’S BOOKE) Jane Yolen offers readers an original tale from the youth of Arthur—with tantalyzing hints of his legendary future. Thirteen-year-old Artos, the orphaned fosterling of Sir Ector, finds himself the youngest of a band of unruly, illiterate but nobly-bred bullies—who barely accept him. In danger of growing up to be one of the wild bunch one day Artos stumbles upon a ca
Apr 09, 2008 Kimbolimbo rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: unfortunately nobody
Shelves: read-in-2008
I checked this out for my nephew because I was tired of reading his Animorph reviews. Now that I have finally read it I feel embarrassed that I pushed this book on him. Not one of Yolen's best. It wasn't a bad book really, but when reading it as if I was 9 years old I realized that it was a very confusing and dull book. The language and subject matter was more for a teen-ager. So my gripe might be more with the library system for putting in the Juvenile section when it should have been put in th ...more
Who doesn't love a story about dragons -- even one you don't see? This is about an orphan boy finding his way in adolescence, learning wisdom from the dragon in the cave. Totally engrossing story set in a castle and caves. A bit of the Arthurian Legend for kids. Like a short reader about young Arthur.
What to do about books for younger readers who can manage adult words and aren't ready for adult topics? This is an interesting possibility, if not a must read. Yolen's take on the Aurthur legend is original and doesn't avoid fifty-cent words, yet the content is completely appropriate for the second grader I read this to. (There's a tinny bit of sword play, rich allusions, and no real peril, violence, or evil.)

Unfortunately, the ending didn't seem to satisfy my seven year old (too open ended and
A good, solid reworking of the Arthur mythos. I have immense respect for Jane Yolen and her (massive!) body of work, but for some reason, I am never as in love with the works as I wish I could be. So with The Dragon's Boy. I really enjoyed the thoughtfulness and depth of the meditations on wisdom and belonging, but the story still felt too short. It's really more of a novella.

I did like how Yolen recast some of the usual suspects of the Round Table--Bedivere, Lancelot, and Kai.

If only this had
Wasn't sure what this was going to be all about, I won't give it away of course, but a twist in the story. Fits into other stories of Arthur to, me.
The Dragon's boy
by Jane yolen
Artos Pendragon is learning to be a night, a foundling that has been raise in Sir Ector's Beau Regard castle, but finding a secret cave leads to unexpected knowledge. His friendship with this new impressive friend changes his life forever. Teaching him lessons that will help him be accepted by Cai, Lancelot, and Bedvere the other apprentices of the castle. A great story to share with your students who are struggling with coming of age conflicts. Jane Yolen is a grea
Bill Tillman
When I agreed to review The Dragon's Boy for Open Road Media, I checked off the book due to its title. I did not know Jane Yolen, so this the first book of her's I read.
Turns out Jane is a prolific writer in both SF & Fantasy and a self confessed Aurthur-holic.

This is a charming tale about the boy Artos and his longing for more from life. Old Linn wants to give it to him but chooses a unique way of doing so. Artos discovers a cave in a lonely tor with a resident dragon. he trades lessons in
Destiny Dawn Long
A full review is available at my blog:


Overall, I think this would be a nice book to introduce younger readers to the Arthurian legend. Artos is a protagonist that tweens and early adolescents should be able to relate to and sympathize with. Although, if they are already reading fantasy, they might find it a bit short compared to other books they’ve encountered. In final analysis I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I liked reading it, but it could have bee
Anya Behn
I am a fan of Jane Yolen's work targeted to adults, so when I saw she had written books for a younger audience (starting in the late 1990s I think), I picked them up. "The Dragon's Boy" is a young King Artor story; she changed his name slightly. The story is engaging the entire way through, and well-written. I read it to my five-year old, and he adored it--he was totally into the story throughout.
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This is not Jane Yolen's best work. Artos is a young man who finds himself discovering a cave and a dragon that offers him a trade for wisdom. Artos discovers he enjoys the dragon's trades and so the story goes. Not really that interesting and a little confusing for the younger reader. The ending was just lousy so I'd pass this one by for a much nicer read.
Arthur is just a fosterling, not knowing who his parents are. He feels like he never belongs, striving to fit in with Kay, Bedivere, and Lancelot. But now Arthur has a secret. He found a cave with a dragon, and it has chosen him to share its wisdom with. If he isn't eaten first!
A fun take on a King Arthur tale. I did not enjoy it as much as I usually do Yolen's books, but I was reading it aloud with my 8-year-old son. It makes for a very choppy read. I like to read bigger chunks at a time. That said, I liked the end of the book. :o)
One for the younger set-- 8-12 yrs.

I have long enjoyed Jane Yolen's recasting of folktales and legends for a contemporary audience. The Dragon's Boy introduces youngsters (and interested others) to Arthur on the way to being king
This is a different twist to the old "Sword in the Stone" legend made popular by T. H. White. A short, easy chapter book, it would be good to read aloud to children not ready for Harry Potter and other popular fantasies.
Jane Yolen is a great dragon writer and i will alwase love her books. the only thing about this story is that it is predictable and follows a "sord in the stone" steriotype.
One of the first authors I ever sought out by name. She had the whole bottom shelf in the kids section. :) nice to reread as ebooks now.
This was well written and an easy read. I got hooked a few chapters in and finished it in two days.
Javier/ The dragon boy is about a boy hoo hafs
Great fairytale, with a hearwarming plot.
A part of my Arthurian legend collection.
Shannon H
it was alright, not the best though.
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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