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Diego's Dragon, Book One: Spirits of the Sun [Kindle Edition]

Kevin Gerard
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

An eleven-year-old Latino boy wins a district-wide writing contest for sixth graders. When an author visits his school to award his prize, Diego Ramirez has no idea how much his life is about to change.

Nathan Sullivan hands Diego his statue, a handsome, glistening black dragon. He shakes his hand and leaves him to his friends. The students crowd around Diego, asking for permission to hold it.

After hearing the name Magnifico spoken aloud by family and friends, Diego awards it to his new dragon. If he only knew how fitting the name was, he might have known what lay ahead. Magnifico is the leader of the Sol Dragones, dragons that live within the magical fires of the sun. Nathan Sullivan is the earth's connection to the mysterious creatures. It is his task to find Magnifico’s guide.

As Magnifico comes to life he becomes quite mischievous, playing tricks on Diego to embarrass him. As he discovers his bloodline, however, Diego assumes greater control over his dragon and his destiny. In the climactic journey, he frees his people and suffers a terrible loss by guiding Magnifico to their goal.


Editorial Reviews

Review

I just got a voluntary book report from a student on Diego's Dragon.  He said (in the report) that it was interesting and he liked it, it would make a good movie and he would tell his friends that "it is like the coolest book ever."  This was without prompting . . . I swear!

Judy - Librarian - Jefferson Middle School

West needs another couple of autographed copies of Diego's Dragon. We're going to have a raffle with your autographed books, posters and t-shirts! Diego's Dragon is still highly requested in our library! This is best fantasy fiction series we've seen in quite some time.

Julia - Librarian - West Middle School


I'm almost done reading the first book of the Diego's Dragon series. The best characters so far are Diego, Magnifico and Racquel. I couldn't stop reading and I can't wait until the next one comes out! Other books are nothing compared to Diego's Dragon. Thanks for signing my book, you're great! :-)
Nicole - Island Creek Elementary

From the Author

I love writing fantasy adventure novels for young readers. I write stories about what I'd like to do, like fighting alongside a group of giant, talking, magical cats, or having my own amazing dragon. I have a habit of writing my characters into impossible corners at the end of my novels, but somehow they escape and find even greater adventures. It's amazing that I can sit down in front of a computer and trust that the plot will come to me if I let it. So far it always has; and at times the characters take over, telling me where they want their story to go.

I didn't start writing seriously until age 44, call it a mid-life crisis if you will. I'll always remember that day - I stood up at 5:00 and walked into the research institute director's office and quit on the spot. I told him I couldn't sell my life for forty grand a year any longer, that I wanted to do something spectacular with the days I had left. We'd known each other for quite a while so he wished me well and off I went.

It's been a joyous and painful journey. I've just finished my eighth novel - Diego's Dragon, Book Three: Battle at Tenochtitlan. It will come out in December of 2013, and it's a fantastic story. It took a toll on me, though, and many friends have suggested I step away from the grind for a bit. Take it easy, write some fun short stories, just enjoy life for a while.

Think I will, but I'll let you in on a little secret. Once you begin writing fantasy adventure novels for middle grade and YA readers, ideas just keep popping into your head. It's a cool journey, and I've made a lot of kids happy, because they love Diego's and Conor's stories.

Onward!

Product Details

  • File Size: 261 KB
  • Print Length: 186 pages
  • Publisher: Crying Cougar Press (May 23, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005RGJQ4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, intrigue-filled adventure March 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
* I give this book 4.5 stars. *

Diego Ramirez’s life is about to change after he wins a writing contest and receives a beautiful, life-like dragon statue as a prize from a famous author, Nate Sullivan. This statue is quite unique and strange things begin to happen the moment Diego touches it. At first, there are small indications that Magifico (as he is named by Diego) is special; but, Diego’s destiny will be fully revealed when the statue transforms into a gigantic, living and breathing dragon (who is incidentally a little short on patience!)

Adding to the complexity of the situation is Diego’s concern over his brother, Esteban, who is coping poorly with the death of his girlfriend, Marisol. Esteban wanders aimlessly with no home, no friends, and under the haze of an alcoholic-induced stupor, grieving over the loss of his one true love. Plagued by visions of his ancestors’ past and guided by the ill-tempered dragon Magnifico and the mysterious Sullivan, Diego is about to embark on a spiritual journey which will forever change the lives of the ones he loves most.

Diego’s Dragon: Spirits of the Sun is a magical and mystical journey exploring the themes of family, trust, connections to the past, and spirituality. The story features a Hispanic boy as the main character which is a real rarity in the middle grade genre. In fact, the majority of characters, including Diego’s friends and the mysterious author, Nate Sullivan are also Hispanic. The text is also peppered with Spanish words and phrases, making this middle grade novel truly unique. My only complaint is that there was no lexicon included in the back for those of us who know little to no Spanish. Who knew that watching Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go would serve us so well though?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read! June 1, 2012
By Mary L.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My students and I really enjoy Kevin Gerard's series. They read the Conor series and look forward to this new adventure! They really enjoyed participating in the name the dark overlord contest and let's face it...middle school loves dragons!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story with a purpose April 19, 2012
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed reading the book. After my son had finnished he told me to check it out, which I did. We are really looking forward to the remaining books in the series. THANKS!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Winning Combination September 1, 2014
Format:Paperback
Diego's Dragon had me hooked and set up what a great series should do – make you want to read more. The dragon is truly magnifico and many chapters will have you on edge. I am currently mentoring a young Latino boy, so this book was a perfect window to their customs and the importance of family.

Kevin Gerard has written a tale that will be enjoyed by readers for years to come. The novel centers on Diego, the eleven-year-old protagonist, and that alone puts it solidly in the MG category. But some schools/parents at this level may frown on the use of a few scattered curse words. Nothing too heavy and it certainly puts the realistic tone to the dialog.

WHAT MADE ME LOVE THIS BOOK:
1.There are few if any recent books with a Latino hero and Diego’s Dragon does a superb job of rectifying that situation.
2. Your pulse will rise when the dragon takes flight with Diego hanging on. The author’s words provide a vivid picture each time the dragon is in the air.
3. I like good endings and this one has a great one. Every plot point is considered and nicely concluded.
4. The other characters also shine: Diego’s parents and Raquel, Diego’s first crush.They too are smart and care deeply for Diego and the decisions he must make.
5. Diego’s older brother is straying away from the family and younger brother he once cared about. Diego still feels a connection to his brother and that love becomes the center of the story.

Overall, the book is a quick read and will appeal to dragon loving readers whether male or female. Your time with this fantastic tale will be well spent. Also available are Book Two: DRAGONS OF THE DARK RIFT and Book Three: BATTLE AT TENOCHTITLAN.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartrending Thrill ride with a Latino hero April 24, 2014
Format:Paperback
Although I had to read this book over the course of weeks during a move and other stressful events, I got caught up in the story’s emotion each time. Before the end, I cried three times. Tears alone don’t make me decide a book is great. But the reasons I cried went a long way—courage and sacrifice presented in a creative way.

In the short foreword, Kevin Gerard explains how promoting another fantasy series he wrote gave him the idea for this one. He gave a dragon statue to a boy as a contest prize, and a few weeks later thought about such a prize coming to life. He decided Latino boys needed more heroes, and I agree. Parents should note that there’s some minor swearing and violence, including domestic, handled in a realistic way that should increase awareness and help children realize they are not alone in having to deal with alcoholism or drug abuse in their families.

The hero of the story is eleven-year-old Diego Ramirez, who soon finds himself doubting his sanity when his prize dragon comes to life. Nobody else seems to notice. But there’s a pretty girl involved who Diego admires, and she knows something he doesn’t. What aggravated me most was head-hopping, reading other characters’ thoughts in a book started with Diego’s point of view. Although I doubt tweens will notice, the bigger issue was getting too much information through those thoughts. Most of those ideas would have better remained a mystery for longer than they did. Foreshadowing through dialog and events would have been enough.

As I read, I decided the book rated a 4 for adults because of the head-hopping, some other editing problems, and either a logic flaw or unclear explanation involving a sacrifice that didn’t balance.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Diego's Dragon
At first, I didn't think I was going to like the book. It started so slow and boring I almost gave up reading it. Boy am I glad I didn't. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fans of How To Train Your Dragon will love this book!
You can find my review here: http://jihasfile.blogspot.it/2014/04/review-diego-dragon-spirits-of-sun-by.html

I've been seeing this book on lots of blogs lately. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jiha's file
5.0 out of 5 stars Diego's Dragon
I have enjoyed reading Diego's Dragon by Kevin Gerard. The author has a very laid-back style and obviously has spent time around kids himself. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kathryn
5.0 out of 5 stars The culture in the book and it’s mystical nature draws readers from...
This is one fun and exciting book! I have always loved fantasy/paranormal stories as do my girls so when I saw this book I was excited to get to read it. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Liberty Ann Ireland
4.0 out of 5 stars I could see older kids enjoying this book (13+).
I liked this book about dragons. I thought that the world the author created was really good, and I enjoyed how the author brought the dragon to life. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dealsharingaunt
5.0 out of 5 stars There are dragons among us! Great must read fantasy book!
I was instantly drawn to the black dragon with a powerful name to match...Magnifico! Without a doubt he can cause trouble for the hero, Diego but he also protects him and serves... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Naila Moon
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy - Must Read
When I receive a book, I normally look through it and maybe read a page or two from a random spot. In the case of Spirits of the Sun, I read part of Chapter 14 in this thirty-three... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Sue Morris from Kid Lit Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Buy
Every book by this author is amazing. My son, who is very picky has bought every book. He has read them without putting them down and even asked me to organize having Kevin come to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by adina forsberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic dragon story!
My 4th grade daughter is obsessed with dragon books. When I discovered Diego's Dragon, I jumped at it--and now Kevin Gerard is her new favorite author! Read more
Published 10 months ago by S. O'Donnell
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More About the Author

Kevin Gerard lives in San Diego, California, with his wife and four crazy cats. He teaches sociology and statistics at Cal State San Marcos. When not writing or teaching, he enjoys walking the grounds at the San Diego Zoo, hitting the waves at Cardiff State Beach, and hanging with his brother, nieces and nephews at the local Pizza Port. He also enjoys playing Halo on the internet; look for him in the rocket games as one of the destroyers from the Conor and the Crossworlds fantasy adventure series.

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