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The Fire Within - Chris d'Lacey (book review) *contains spoilers*


Book: The Fire Within
Author: Chris d'Lacey
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Published By: Scholastic Inc.
Published Year: 2007

My Review:
Having taken part in the 24in48 readathon I was able to finish reading The Fire Within by Chris d'Lacey which is a book I have owned for years and always enjoyed reading.

This novel is about a man called David who just moves into the Pennykettle household and ends up mixed in the drama with their next door neighbour Mr Bacon who is trying to catch and kill a squirrel in which the daughter in the Pennykettle household really cares for. As well as this he is given a clay dragon and starts to learn the secret's about them.

This book is split into two parts; the first part being called The Spark and the second part of the book being called The Fire Within. Due to there being two parts I am going to review each part separately and then do an overall of the book.

The Spark
The first part of the book is in which David arrives at the Pennykettle household as a lodger in their spare bedroom and starts to become friends with the daughter of the household Lucy who loves squirrels. When Liz the mother of the household gives David a clay dragon which is holding a pencil and a pad of paper which is meant to help give him ideas by writing them to him - in which David names Gadzooks. When discovering that Mr Bacon hates squirrels and considers them vermin David and Lucy decide to try and help the squirrel who is there and seems to be blind in one eye so can't escape from Mr Bacon.

I feel that this part of the book is great at introducing the characters and giving the reader who knows nothing about the characters a good way of learning everything about the squirrels and dragons by going through David who is also new to everything in the Pennykettle household. As the reader also finds out about the squirrels and clay dragons the reader becomes more fascinated about what the dragons are able to do and if Lucy and David will be able to help the squirrel in which Lucy calls Conker,

The Fire Within
The second part of the book shows David writing a book for Lucy's birthday about the squirrels based off of the truth in which they are going through trying to find the squirrel and fiction as to how they speak; by using the help of his dragon Gadzooks. As they manage to capture Conker with the help of Snigger, David and the Pennykettle's go to an animal wildlife hospital to look at Conker and see if there is anything that they are able to do for his eye. As the eye starts to get better Sophie rebels against the hospital and instead of keeping them there for the rest of their lives takes both of the squirrels to the Pennykettle's house and agrees to take them to the library gardens where the rest of the squirrels are living. Not long after when returning to the library they find that Conker is dead and David starts losing faith in his dragon and doesn't feel like he loves him anymore which starts to make Gadzook almost cry his final tear, making David learn more about the past of the dragons and save Gadzooks before it is too late.

I found that this was a really showed how the emotions were linked to how the dragons would be feeling as well and even though they are made of clay there is a way that they are able to die, however there is a way of protecting them and keeping them from harms way. Also from finding out more about the dragons of the past there is a chance that the Pennykettle's are related to the woman who first caught a dragon tear and connected themselves. This also makes the reader feel glad that even though Conker didn't survive long after having been helped he was able to be back with his squirrel friends before he died and did manage to get some help.

Overall
I really like this film and love how you learn everything about the family through David which means at the same time as the reader themselves. I also really like how each character had completely different personalities making it easy to know who each of the characters were and able to connect to them all separately. However, I do feel like there is barely anything about dragons till the very end of the book when you find out more about them and the book is mostly about squirrels which does put my rating of this book down as it does seem completely off of topic. On the other hand, this book is easy to read and easy to get absorbed into.

I would recommend this book to children and young adults who want a fantasy book and mostly involves animals and protecting them. I would also recommend this book to those who would like an easy read which will keep you entertained from the beginning to the end of the book.


My Rating: 3/5

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