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This is my favorites source book for an approach for books and reading material for my children. O'Brien's thesis is that children must learn their moral ABC's as well as the letters of the alphabet. The classic tales for children has always been morality tales where "good guys" and "bad guys" are clearly delineated. Evil is not something to be "understood" or "rehabilitated" but conquered - in ourselves and in the world. The blurry greys of adult fare now infects children's stories, and it leaves them bewildered and ill-equiped for the realities of the world. "Dragons" refers to the classic figures in old stories - they are to be faced, turned away, killed. Further, O'Brien is speaking to the Christian, and speaks clearly. "The Dragon" would love to have a moral landscape where no one believes in evil. It allows the con-man to creep right in before destroying you. Even those who are not theologically trained, or believers in the Christian faith will welcome O'Brien's logic, and recommendations. And his honesty in laying bare his influences. He has a very nice list of recommendations in his appendices, and my kids have been eating them up. This is a wonderful, necessary book for fathers of sons.
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When you hear the word 'dragon' what do you think of? A big, evil, fire-breathing monster destroying villages with its fiery breath or devouring virgins chained to rocks. Pure cliche, that's what I would call it. Evil is in the eye of the beholder and just because you believe a dragon is evil doesn't make it so. A dragon has been used far too long as a scapegoat and this book by Michael O'Brien isn't helping much. Man has the capacity to be far more evil than any dragon yet I do not lump all humans into one group and call them evil. So why are all dragons portrayed as evil? If you were to meet a dragon would your first instinct be to kill it? Of course it would, because human beings have been brainwashed by the church to believe that all dragons are evil. The prejudicial writings of this author prevent me from recommending this book in any manner what so ever. There are many books that are better when it comes to dragons. If you have an open mind about dragons, do yourself a favor and seek other literature