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The Mark of the Dragonfly

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,740 ratings  ·  427 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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Sadie I just wondered this myself, on her site it now says "Latest News: Thrilled to announce that there are more books coming from the world of Solace!…moreI just wondered this myself, on her site it now says "Latest News: Thrilled to announce that there are more books coming from the world of Solace! Look for THE SECRETS OF SOLACE in early 2016, and JOURNEY OF THE IRON GLORY in 2017. "

She says they are not direct sequels, but we're still looking forward to them!(less)
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Newbery 2015
22nd out of 110 books — 487 voters
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Middle Grade Novels of 2014
34th out of 483 books — 827 voters

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Community Reviews

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Steampunk fantasy for middle schoolers. Awesome and amazing. Jaleigh Johnson has written a wonderful adventure about a young female orphan named Piper, whose world consists of scavenging (a scrapper) and fixing broken machines, a special gift. Piper rescues a strange, young girl from a strange caravan during a meteor storm. Anna has a dragonfly tattoo denoting protection of the southern King intent on hegemony. Piper and Anna flee someone supposedly trying to "help" Anna, jumping on an archaic s ...more
The Mark of the Dragonfly is a middle-grade, steampunk/fantasy novel written by Jaleigh Johnson. I have seen very few steampunk-type books targeted to this age group so this is an exciting addition. I should note that when I began The Mark of the Dragonfly, I assumed it was a young adult publication (the goodreads app doesn't show the genres), so once I looked at the details on my PC, it made sense. This book felt very young, even younger than your typical young adult. Had I known it was middl ...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
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
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
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
it's like a teenage Kaylee Frye and a preteen River Tam on the lam in a steam punk world.
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
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
I was swept up in this adventure fantasy and didn't want it to stop. In this futuristic society, Piper is a scrapper with a talent for fixing machines in Scrap Town Number Sixteen in the Merrow Kingdom. She watches for whatever storms bring from other worlds that would be worth selling at the trade markets. What she doesn't expect to find is a girl. A girl with the dragonfly tattoo, which means she's from the Dragonfly Territory, and she's protected by the king. Unfortunately, she doesn't rememb ...more
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.
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......
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 soooooo good. I was looking for a kiss from gee and piper but it still was an awesome book!!!!!
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.

Joshua Whiting
This review was posted on

Piper is an orphaned but resourceful scrapper in the toxic meteor fields of the territories, where remains of treasures from another world crash to earth. She has a knack for finding things and fixing them. When Piper finds an injured, mysterious girl in the meteor fields, with no memory but tattooed with the mark of the royal family, they hop a mighty steam train and set off on a cross-country adventure to escap
It is with a mouth full of blood and rather lacking in teeth that I sit down to write this review. That will be relevant in a moment.

I'm not completely convinced by this book. It got a little cheesy at moments, and not all the dialogue was believable. It was enjoyable, yes, but the incredibly irritating (but thankfully short-lived) romance counter-balances that. Sometimes the plot worked out too neatly. I guessed most of the plot twists (but not all; the big one at the end whammied me).

What I'm
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
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
I've come to the conclusion that the only place I will truly be happy is in middle grade books. No matter how much I love young adult - and I do - it seems like I can only really enjoy middle grade books anymore. Maybe it has something to do with the lack of romance or it could just be because middle grade books have, generally, much stronger characters than young adult.

There are quite a few things that differentiate middle grade from young adult. Obviously there are things like writing style an
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.
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