The Dragonfly Key
Perfect Bound Softcover
Nine-year-old Adi is the clumsiest kid ever. After she oversleeps, misses her school bus, and hears her parents fighting, Adi wants nothing more than to escape for a while. But after her mother drops her off at school, Adi has no idea her wish is about to come true.
During first period recess, Adi follows a dragonfly inside a bush on the playground. But suddenly, a violent thunderstorm approaches, the ground trembles, the earth cracks—and Adi finds herself precariously hanging from a branch above a huge hole. Moments later Adi’s arms give out, and she plunges far beneath the earth into a strange new world. Adi quickly learns that she has been called to this land for a purpose and that she has a journey to complete. Adi’s new dragonfly friend, Flutter, says that she has been to the kingdom before, but Adi cannot remember anything about it. As Adi begins her expedition, she makes a mistake that transports her back to her own world—where she makes a shocking discovery.
In this charming fantasy tale, a young girl is swept away on an exciting and dangerous adventure, where she soon realizes she must summon the courage to help save a dying land—before it is too late.
When Claudia stepped into the clearing, she felt like her entire spirit paused. Breathing deeply, she took in the quiet beauty of the place. It was different from what she’d remembered, and when Jake finally came traipsing in, he also paused and simply said, “Wow.” The enchantment broke, though, with his presence, and together they starting exploring the little oasis, hidden in the middle of a forest. There was a small stream, running through the center of it, leading to a little pond off in the corner near some giant boulders. You could hear the peaceful sound of the water lapping over some large stones in the stream, and Claudia and Jake used those to make their way across to the other side, and onto the patch of moss and grass that made a soft carpet throughout the rest of the clearing. Claudia slipped her shoes off and wiggled her toes in the green carpet, feeling the lush cool earth against her skin. Then she walked over to the pond and picked up a smooth, flat rock from its shore and skipped it across the surface. That sent up a cloud of dragonflies, shimmering from the rays of sunlight that poked through the canopy of trees above. After skipping a few more stones, Claudia rolled up her pants and stepped into the crisp, cool water. A small fish darted around her toes for a moment, and then swam off. “There’s something about this place,” she thought. “It makes everything seem to move in slow motion, and even the simple things seem extraordinary.” Claudia stepped out of the water and dried her toes on the grass, then turned her attention to Jake, who was crouched down at the base of a tree, examining something. She walked over and kneeled down beside him, curious what was holding him so captive. “What’s up?” Claudia asked, wondering why he was being so quiet. “I found this buried under a pile of moss and dirt next to this tree, isn’t it cool?” Jake handed her a small metallic object that looked like a golden beetle, but it was hard to tell because it was so caked in mud. “Let’s wash it off, and see, maybe it’s real gold or something,” Claudia stood up and walked back to the pond, dipped it into the water, and rubbed at it with her fingers to loosen the thick layer of dirt. Jake plopped down next to her and lay on his back, basking in a ray of sunshine. “So what do you think, real gold or some fake toy another kid left out here?” “I think it’s real.” Claudia lay down next to him, and holding the golden bug up, watched it shine in the light. Then she slipped it into her pocket, put her hands behind her head and sighed, feeling comfortable and a little tired. She glanced over at Jake, and he had his eyes shut, apparently feeling sleepy as well. A shadow passed over her face for a moment, and she instinctively looked up to the sky for the source of it. A hawk flew in circles overhead for a while, and then perched on a branch at the top of one of the tallest trees, sitting completely motionless. Claudia dozed off for a moment, and when she woke up the hawk was still there, but its gaze was fixed intently on something down and over towards the pond. On one of the large boulders at the far edge of the pond, a dragonfly had paused, soaking up the sun and sending it glimmering back, changed into all the colors of the rainbow.
Laura Nowotny has worked with youth for a number of years, ranging from infancy all the way to college age. She lives in Newport News, Virginia, with her husband and three children. Laura loves God and all things to do with dragonflies. This is her debut novel.
Perfect Bound Softcover
Dust Jacket Hardcover