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The Mark of the Dragonfly

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,145 ratings  ·  339 reviews
Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure w ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published March 15th 2014)
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Robyn From the author's website ( "In 2014 I'll be working on the companion novel to The Mark of the Dragonfly. It's…moreFrom the author's website ( "In 2014 I'll be working on the companion novel to The Mark of the Dragonfly. It's set in the world of Solace but follows different characters...I don't have plans for a sequel [to The Mark of the Dragonfly] right now. The novel I'm working on is a companion, though, and takes place in the same world of Solace."(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,848)
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This was one of the most unique and exciting books of the year for me, and I'm happy to have a chance to recommend it to you. It's listed as a middle grade book, and I think anyone from about 8 on upwards could enjoy it. The main protagonist, Piper, is 13 and other young characters range from 11 to 13, but here I would draw a strong parallel to the characterization in Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy. These characters are intelligent, capable, adventurous, and important. They bear tremendous res ...more
Wow! Is it steampunk for kids? Sort of, but there is so much more, adventure, danger, learning to trust others and appreciate them as individuals. Most of all, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fantastic journey into reading that will make even the most reluctant young reader unable to put this one down! The pace is fast, the details are not overbearing, slowing down the story. A younger reader has the chance to turn their own imagination loose and fall into the world of The Mark of the Dragonfly b ...more
Lately it seems like if I ever get a book that I don't know anything about, from an author I know nothing about (unless it's Christian Fiction) I find stuff in the book that I don't appreciate, such as swearing or more passion than I think is appropriate. So when I saw The Mark of the Dragonfly on NetGalley I almost didn't read it, but I figured middle grade fiction should be okay. I'm so glad I decided to read it. The Mark of the Dragonfly is a mix between Cinder and Polar Express and some myt ...more
The mood and world-building of the first quarter of the book were fascinating--I couldn't wait to hear more about this strange and futuristic non-Earth where remnants of other lives and planets crashed all around our central character in much-anticipated meteor showers. But the storyline didn't go where I wanted it to go, which is not at all the fault of the book. It's not the talented author's fault that my expectations and wishes weren't met, but I'm still disappointed at what seemed like, for ...more
Piper is a scrapper. Where she lives, you survive by mining debris fields right after a meteor shower and selling what you find. She makes a better living than most since she's skilled at repairing machines, a skill that is in high demand.

Then, she comes across a girl, the sole survivor of a group stuck in the middle of a meteor shower. Piper takes her home to recuperate, at which point she's already gotten herself involved in something more complicated than she could ever guess. Piper and Anna
Misty Baker
** A 4.8 Review as posted on KindleObsessed blog **

Over the past 5 years I have become very close friends with the secretary at my children’s school. Not because of my children exactly (though she adores both and spoils them rotten) but because we both love to read. Last June (on the last day of school) I brought her a bag full of some of my favorite books. “Here you go,” I said. “Some goodies to keep you company this summer.” She of course flipped out, grabbing the bag and squealing for joy. (B
The Library Lady
They are comparing this to The City of Ember, and I hope that gets kids to read this, but I liked this one a lot better. This has elements of fantasy, dystopia and just plain old adventure, and it works.

I just sincerely hope that this is NOT the start of a trilogy or a ten book series. While I liked "Ember", I was not fond of its followups. This one ended beautifully, and I hope Johnson instead moves onto something else......
Victoria W.
As usual I received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion.

Nervously optimistic is an odd way to start any book and yet that is the best way to describe my feelings as I dove into Jaleigh Johnson's The Mark of the Dragonfly.

Johnson's novel follows a young, orphaned scrapper by the name of Piper who's fighting to survive on the edge of the meteor field. One day, Piper learns that meteors may not be the most dangerous thing in her hometown as a mysterious girl lands at her
3.5 stars

I was torn between giving this 3 stars and 4, so I split the difference. (If only Goodreads offered a half-star option!)

This was a great fantasy, steampunk-lite book. My biggest complaint is that I felt like the characters were MUCH older than their designated ages (13). They acted, spoke and behaved like older teens (except for Anna, who was fine as is). I would have definitely preferred if they had been presented as 16-17 instead of 13. I's a weird thing to nitpick, but it
I loved this book, and so did Madeline. It was a gift from a friend for her birthday, and she devoured it and gives it a 5. I really liked its creativity, steampunk vibe, and the amazing hoyden heroines.
Absolutely great middle grade steampunk book. It does have a slow start, but picks up steam (quite literally) when the main character boards a train. The majority of the action of the book happens on and around that train. The main plot line follows two young women, something quite lacking in much of MG and YA fiction. Their "sister-ish" tale is the heart of the story and what carries us forward in the book. This was one of my favorite reads of 2014 to-date.
Fantasy Literature
The Mark of the Dragonfly, a Middle Grade novel by Jaleigh Johnson, starts off with a wonderfully evocative premise and setting: a world where at regular intervals over a particular region, “meteor storms” rain down artifacts from other worlds amidst a haze of poisonous green dust. After the impacts are over and the dust has settled, “scrappers” head out in a mad race to claim whatever odd (and usually broken) objects might be sold to traders. Entire towns have risen up at the edges of the storm ...more
Kathy Davie
I did receive an ARC from the publisher, and I'm hoping this is the first in a new fantasy, steampunk series for middle-grade readers revolving around Piper, an orphan from Scrap Town Sixteen with a talent for machines.

My Take
On the whole, I loved this story, and I hope Johnson writes more! It's an intriguing mix of tropes that Johnson twists and twists and twists into her own unique tale with chases and rescues via coach, flying boy, gliders, and the top of the train amidst battles with slavers
Shannon L. Gonzalez
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Adventure for an unlikely heroine in a fantastic world!

Set in another planet, another world, man-made objects from Earth among other unknown planets drop into craters via meteor storms that ravage the terra firma. This single premise drives the adventure forward. Piper lives in a kingdom set on making war machines at the cost of the kingdom’s people. Her father jobless, traveled to the neighboring kingdom, set on technological advancement in the name
Anatea Oroz
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

I don't usually read Middle Grade books, in fact I have only read a few of them, but The Mark of the Dragonfly sounded really interesting, so I decided to read it, or more so, read something that I don't normally read. Now, I'm glad I did, because this book is quite good, and I was surprised to see that MG is not that bad, even though there is no romance in it. Maybe it was even refreshing not having romance as a focus, and let alone worr
This book was GREAT. I loved the steampunk side to it. READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ryan Dejonghe
This is a great book for the age range recommended (10 years and up). Within these 400 pages is a fun, magical adventure that most ten-year-old will love. I can easily see THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY turned into a successful movie that will crowd theaters and sell tons of DVDs. It’s perfect for that. The story is a bit too formulaic and requires too much suspension of belief for an adult audience to truly enjoy; there’s plenty of other high-quality reading in this genre for adults to dig into.

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What a fascinating introduction into steampunk fantasy for any age! The Mark of the Dragonfly is a compelling story that will capture your attention from the very first page.

After her father's death, Piper is now alone in a very harsh world. It will take all the skills Piper has learned from her father, and a few she has developed herself, to survive. In the meteor fields, Piper discovers an unconscious girl. How can Piper help her whe
Check out more of my reviews at Little Miss Bookmark

Man. This is a tough one for me. I don't know. It just didn't blow my skirt up. I don't even know where to start. Maybe it's too much fantasy. It's based in a landscape and world that aren't anything like what we live in today. There really isn't much for someone to relate to ... people's lives revolve around the meteor shower ... artifacts rain down from the heavens but most are broken by the time they hit and people go out searching for anyth
Jennifer Boyce

This book started out incredibly strong and I thought I had discovered a new favorite book, but by the end of the story I found myself feeling dissatisfied and annoyed with the story.

The world-building in the beginning of this story is really quite well-done. The author introduces this new magical world so subtly that the reader is almost able to believe it isn't a new world at all, rather one already familiar and understood to the reader. The setting in t
The Mark of the Dragonfly was a vivid trip into an alternate steampunkish world. Written from a child's perspective, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a kid safe adventure for all ages to enjoy.

Piper is orphaned in a Meteor pelted scrapper town. Struggling to survive by her scavenging and mechanical works, she is unexpectedly pulled into a world of treachery and betrayal.

Johnson brilliantly writes and marvelously conveys the inner workings of a child's mind. Battling for survival, coming to terms wit
The Styling Librarian
The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson – Science Fiction/Steampunk, 5th grade and up – I was lost in this book. Really interesting futuristic premise with many more questions than answers. Enjoyed the characters, story development, adventures, and more. I loved how this book threw me into memories of other steampunk books. For those students who enjoyed Airman by Colfer and Leviathan by Westerfeld will certainly enjoy this book. Recommended.
Gr 4-8 -- It is a harsh life for Piper, an orphan who makes her living salvaging meteor storm debris and repairing small machines in Scrap Town #16. When she rescues an unconscious girl - Anna - from the wreckage of a travelers’ caravan and discovers that she is under the protection of the king of the Dragonfly Territories, Piper knows that returning Anna to her family is her only chance of a new life. But Anna has lost her memory. And she’s very odd. And a strange, intense man is hot on her hee ...more
I'm not going to rate this book, because it wouldn't be fair, given that I only read 20 pages or so. But the fact is that even before the narrative got properly going, something about the writing style just *completely* put me off. There's no good reason for it, and probably no reflection on the book itself; it felt like the literary equivalent of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap. It was a very weird experience. Did not finish, and mostly leaving this here to puzzle over it in the ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Laurie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I recently spent the day with this author. I thoroughly enjoyed her, her presentations to school age kids and hearing about her plans for upcoming projects. I can't wait to read whatever comes down the road from Jaleigh. I couldn't put The Mark of the Dragonfly down! Loved the characters and this crazy world they live in. Highly recommend!!
This book was soooooo good. I was looking for a kiss from gee and piper but it still was an awesome book!!!!!
Feb 09, 2014 Wanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wanda by: NetGalley
Shelves: netgalley, 2014
12 JAN 2014 -- pre-approved through NetGalley. To be read soon. Thank you very much NetGalley.

3 FEB 2014 -- beginning tonight. Isn't this cover lovely? And, there is a train somewhere in these pages. Trains are a favorite of mine. I am excited.

9 FEB 2014 -- review upcoming.
While Jaleigh Johnson may be better known for writing a Forgotten Realms novel, she is new to me and I was very happy to discover her new children’s book at my local library. This is a unique world and you rapidly fall into it and get hooked. Piper is a scrapper, living a hard-scrabble life as a scavenger and mechanic on a world that gets hit by gift-bringing meteorites every full moon. When one if the meteor showers brings her an unconscious girl with a dragonfly tattoo on her wrist who has a s ...more
Lori Redman
This was also a book I read in anticipation of a Newbery nod, and I was also glad I read this one. An ambitious fantasy novel, it excels in world building and character development. Though it felt a bit confusing at first (and I worried for students who may have a hard time navigating the confusing plot) it quickly cleared up into a very nice dystopian/steampunk/fantasy novel that feels appropriate for Grades 4+. The only concern is the mention of a character being naked and a girl placing a clo ...more
Montana Library2Go

A basic but enjoyable story for young readers that ends too abruptly.

My three-star rating may be mildly unfair, but there are two reasons I cannot justify bumping it up to four stars. 1. The book basically just stops. The entire story is one of attempting to escape a character who is chasing the two protagonists, with a lot of anger toward the King and his policies worked in around the edges. Often the conflicts of foreign policy and lack of compassion shown by those in charg
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