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Dragons in a Bag (Dragons in a Bag #1)
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Dragons in a Bag

(Dragons in a Bag #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  59 reviews
The dragon's out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author!

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she's not his grandmother--but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they'll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don't le
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Random House
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Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-fiction
Ahhhhh this book is so deliciously fun! It's full of imagination, joy, humor and adventure, with an enormous underpinning of heart to ground it all. I love cantankerous old Ma the witch (who's more than fierce enough to ride a T-Rex!), I love the real, believable grey areas around the magical debates and family relationships, and I adored every minute of this book. I'm reading it out loud to my 9-year-old every chance we get, because he's loving it too, but I couldn't resist reading ahead on my ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know I loved this book! I interviewed the author, Zetta shared about it on my blog at: . :)
Antoinette Scully
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jaxon is forced to spend the day with Ma, a woman he just learns is his grandmother. She isn’t interested in babysitting and Jaxson would rather be somewhere else. But Ma is strange and strange things keep happening at her apartment- like a recently delivered package that moves all on its own! After some poking, Jaxson learns that the box contains dragons and Ma had to deliver them to their final destination. Is Jaxson up for the challenge of being Ma’s new helper? // I loved this book. Read it ...more
Ms. Yingling
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

When Jaxon's mother must go to court to appeal an eviction notice, she takes Jaxon to stay with the grandmother he has never met for the afternoon. "Ma" is not thrilled to see either Alicia or Jaxon, but agrees to take care of him. She has an odd, musty apartment, and it's not long before Jaxon finds a bag of dragons under her care! It quickly becomes apparent that Ma is a witch, and one of the problems she has with Jaxon's mother is that she didn't want to be a part of
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2018-books
A BIG Thank You to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for providing me a copy of “Dragons in a Bag″ by Zetta Elliott in exchange for my review. “Dragons in a Bag” was a nice, interesting book and I feel a good start to the series.

Let’s start with the characterization. It’s really hard to dislike any of the characters as all of them are charming in their own manner. My favorite characters in the story are Ma and Trub. What I surprisingly enjoyed was that the characters and the settings are sti
An utterly charming middle-grade fantasy with a refreshingly diverse cast. Jax, a young black boy, is unexpectedly dropped off with a surly woman his mother calls “Ma” one day, while Mama goes to court to fight their eviction from their Brooklyn apartment. It doesn’t take Jax too long to find out that Ma is a witch — and Mama used to be her apprentice! But why has Jax never met her? Why doesn’t Mama talk about her? And what is in that box from Madagascar?

This promises to be the first in a series
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter-books
SO GOOD! We can't wait for the next one to come out!
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
first up: I blanked on the title of this for a moment and searched for "bag of dragons" and this was still the top hit, so thanks for that, GoodReads

anyway, this is a DELIGHTFUL middle grade urban fantasy. I read it all in one sitting and can't wait to learn more about this world (and Kavita's dragon). Jax is such a great protagonist--a smart, curious boy who wants to do the right thing....but dragons?!--and so much is communicated about him and his relationship with his mother through relativel
Michelle (In Libris Veritas)
3.5 Stars

Dragons in a Bag is a early middle grade novel/late elementary novel that focuses on a young boy named Jaxon who is sent to spend a day with a woman called Ma, who turns out to be much more than she seems. It’s a wonderful inclusive fantasy novel that shines a light on people, family dynamics, and places that we don’t normally see in young fantasy.

Upon opening Dragons in a Bag I was immediately charmed by it. So often we get books in this age range that is majority based, Caucasian and
Jax isn't happy that his mama dropped him off with an old lady he has never met. And then it turns out Ma is a witch and has a bag of dragons to deliver to a magical dimension. While Jax agrees to work with Ma as her assistant for the day, things don't go exactly as planned. First they don't make it to the magical world but to the past in the time of dinosaurs instead! And then Ma and Jax get separated and Jax is left on his own with the dragons. He gets help and eventually finds Ma again, but o ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so good.
Aliza Werner
Love this new fantastical and magical book for early middle grade readers. Featuring diverse characters, dimension and time travel, magic, and mystery.
Sarah Sammis
Elliott has created a fascinating urban landscape that blends the ordinary of city life with the extraordinary of magic and alternate worlds. Just as Doctor Who has turned the now obsolete Police Boxes into a space ship and time machine, Jaxson's Brooklyn has ways into other worlds and times.

As the book is only 160 pages with illustrations, it would make a great book to read aloud in a classroom setting or as a bed time story over the course of about a week.

33FF66 - Family utopia offroad

Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing

If you or someone you know is over eight-years-old, you need a copy of Zetta Elliot’s urban fantasy Dragons in a Bag!

Dragons in a Bag introduces readers to Jaxon, a sweet and smart young boy with brown skin and unruly eyebrows. Jaxon’s father passed away and he lives alone with his mother who is estranged from her family. At the start of the book, the mother-son duo struggle to make ends meet and their landlord is trying to evict them. When Jaxon’s mother
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
(I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House Children's, and Zetta Elliot for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review).

A cute children's urban fantasy novel about a boy named Jax who has to stay with Ma when his Mama needs to go to court for the day to try to keep their home. He learns that Ma isn't exactly related to him (she's not his grandma), but she has taken care of many children in the past, including his own mother. There's something strange and...magical...a
Mark Buxton
Jul 23, 2018 rated it liked it
My name is Jax, and Ma received a bouncing package from Madagascar. Ma's not really related to me, and she happens to be a witch. I know Madagascar has many strange animals, but I was not expecting the package to contain three baby dragons! Ma says we need to take them to another dimension, because Brooklyn doesn't have enough magic anymore. Ma and I didn't get along right off the bat, but I think I may want to become her apprentice. Unfortunately, the transporter went wonky, and we ended up in ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-6-fantasy
Dragons in a Bag begs to be read, from the ingenius cover with a tiny dragon popping out of a purse, behind a smiling mischeivous looking black boy, through the very first chapter where bright resourceful Jaxon is dropped off by his mother at the apartment of his grandmother "Ma,"whom he's never met before. Ma's curmudgeony manner leaves him uneasy as he gazes around the sparcely furnished kitchen, and spots a box mysteriously jerking a tiny bit "he thinks." This old woman named Ma answers none ...more
Sandy Brehl
This title crossed my radar and intrigued me, even though I'm falling behind in my TBD stack. No regrets now that I've read it.
This hits the perfect sweet spot for recently independent readers to be able to dive into a gripping story that honors magical traditions, turning some stereotypes on their ears. Jax is also deeply "normal", living in an urban setting with widowed. Brooklyn playraising s a thematic role without becoming a character that overwhelms the story, at least in this initial tit
Nannette Demmler
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.

Isn’t that cover just adorable! This is the first book that I have read by this author, who I think has been around for awhile, but somehow I have missed her books before this one. I will be fixing that, and am looking forward to reading her other works as well as adding them to my school library.

Jaxon is such a sweet kid, I loved him almost at once. He cares a great deal for his mother and worries about their future. H
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I recently discovered that Zetta Eliott is a Canadian author, which prompted me to pick up DRAGONS IN A BAG. I'm so glad I did!

This is the first book in a series (the second book, DRAGON'S THIEF, comes out in 2019). Jaxon is forced to spend the day with a woman he thinks is his grandmother while his mother is at court trying to find a way to keep their apartment. He discovers that she is a actually a witch, and has a special mission, but things go awry. Jax believes he needs to save her, and al
Ms. Kelly
Ostensibly set in a very recognizable world, this middle grade fantasy eases the reader into the fantastical by way of a mysterious grandmother, a pesky squirrel, and a jumping package. Before the ride is over, you have traveled through space and time, met an intriguing cast of characters, and met those dragons in a bag.

Immediately upon finishing the book, I wanted the next.

In addition to the smooth writing, great characters, and fun story, the fact that the characters approach the fantasy world
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's fitting that one of the themes of this book is to make the boundaries between the magical realm and the real world more fluid, because this delightful story uses a fresh voice to weave a beautifully real narrative of relatable characters and relationships that captures the mystical side of the reader's imagination while addressing some very real-world contemporary issues. In doing so, it crafts an engaging world that both rural and urban readers can identify with and that readers of any eth ...more
Shaye Miller
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a highly imaginative urban fantasy. The story begins just as Jaxon’s mom is heading to court to appeal an eviction notice. She drops him off at “Ma’s” house, as she asks her to watch him for the day. Jaxon, not knowing any difference, refers to the elderly lady as “grandma.” But he was completely wrong on that one. Jaxon learns that his mom grew up with Ma when her own biological mother needed help. But what he’s about to learn about Ma will blow his (and maybe your) mind. This is fast-p ...more
Rosie Rizk
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Magic in Brooklyn. This is a sweet imaginative book that will appeal to all middle grade fantasy fans.

The characters are real life people, trying to keep their house, and dealing with complicated relationships between family and friends. And it's set in Brooklyn, notably near prospect park, which makes it all the more real for us Brooklyners. Plus there's magic. With magical creatures and travels to other worlds and times.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written so beautifully, I fin
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book begins with Jaxon and his mom coming to an apartment he's never been to. His mom has to be in court so leaves him with "Ma." Ma is an interesting character who is actually a witch. She brings Jax along on her mission to deliver baby dragons to their home. Things go wrong. Jaxon returns to Brooklyn alone and gets help from his friend and the friend's little sister. He meets his grandfather for the first time as well.
This is the first book in a series so sets up the characters for future
Michele Mulder
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So I loved it! It isn’t too often where you get urban fiction with such a delightful twist of magic.

First of all, I must tell you that I listened to the audiobook and the reader was amazing! I would suggest anyone read the book but if you have a struggling or reluctant reader- get the audiobook! They will be entranced!

I can’t say enough good things about this book: African American male main character who is smart & loving, realistic family dynamics that while may not be typical aren’t any
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
First installment in a new fantasy series just perfect for newly independent readers. Charming and funny with just the right amount of suspense. The wonderful characters are the real stars here - I love Ma! But the magical system is really fun and well done and the first volume ends with the problem unresolved and readers eager for the next book. Very appealing illustrations add to the interest and the comprehension.

I love having a book with characters that just happen to be diverse but the focu
Jill ODell
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio version of this story to pre-read and make sure it was ok for my son. It was great! Narration is absolutely perfect, and the story is full of responsible adults (my personal pet peeve) helping Jax on his adventure. Jax is a respectful kid and the story is great for elementary kids. I ended up making a little geography session out of this with my son learning about Madagascar. Can't wait for the next in the series... We'll definitely be getting it!
Rachael Bookfairs
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really really enjoyed this romp through a magical version of NYC.

When Jaxon's mom is busy she reluctantly drops him off at "Ma"'s house - but Ma isn't his grandmother - she is an urban witch who's got some baby dragons to deal with. Suddenly Jaxon is going through space & time in an effort to find a safe place for dragons before they start to grow.

He is "helped" by a couple of school friends but their help may be his undoing....
Amanda Harrison
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of good features here once we got passed the awkward beginning that comes for every fantasy novel that starts in non-magical areas.

I picked this one up after seeing it on a lot of best of lists, but it had not registered that this was #1 of a series.

I'm going to refer to this book as L'Engle lite, as it clearly is for a slightly younger audience.
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I’m a Black feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. I was born and raised in Canada, but have lived in the US for 20 years. I earned my PhD in American Studies from NYU in 2003; I have taught at Ohio University, Louisiana State University, Mount Holyoke College, Hunter College, Bard High School Early College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. My poetry ...more

Other books in the series

Dragons in a Bag (2 books)
  • Dragon Thief (Dragons in a Bag #2)