Dragonslaying Is for Dreamers


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The name of the late Dave Marks is well known to many homeschoolers as the creator of what I think is the most user-friendly homeschool writing program, Writing Strands. Also, he wrote articles in several homeschooling magazines. This series of books was apparently intended to be part of his Writing Strands curriculum to help students see how a novel is put together and be able to critique another’s writings. Axel is a 16-year-old boy whose father has just died. His mother is rather bossy and controlling. The father of his girlfriend dislikes him and wants her to marry someone else. With few current prospects in his village, he leaves with the intention of becoming a dragonslayer, thinking that he can achieve fame and fortune that way. After meeting a wizard named Sidney, who teaches him principles that helps him learn how to kill dragons, he actually kills three dragons and is knighted by King Willard. Thus, he is able to return to his hometown and marry Molly. Marks wrote, “My original intent was to create a character who was thoughtful but strong enough to stand by his beliefs while under great pressure to do the bidding of others. Of course, for many of us, the perfect model is Christ.” One might not always agree with every single choice that Axel made or even the basis upon which he made each choice, but in general, these books present a good picture of one who makes his choices based upon the values that he holds dear, even when he does not know how things will turn out or has reason to believe that he may suffer in the process. Marks writes with a tongue-in-cheek humor that should appeal to most teens. The “Dragonslaying” series continues with Axel meets the Blue Men and Axel’s Challenge.

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