Nory and the Upside Down Magic (UDM) kids are taking a field trip to Dragon Haven, a sanctuary for injured and orphaned dragons. The only thing that can dampen their excitement is the fact that they aren’t the only school group at Dragon Haven. What if the other kids are snobby? What if they make fun of the UDM kids and their “wonky” magic?
Andres is getting weary of the struggles that come with his magic. He feels like the leash that keeps him from floating away is a punishment. The leash makes him feel like a baby. People forget about him – or the “brickpack” he needs to stay on the ground. When will he ever have a chance to be independent?
Nory is in for some surprises on this field trip, too. While everyone is feeling nervous about the other school of kids, Nory has extra pressure. The kids are from Sage Academy – her dad’s school! And her dad is on the field trip. How will he treat her? What does he think of her Upside Down Magic?
Identity is one of my favorite themes in books. And the Upside Down Magic series does a great job exploring that theme for young readers. While Nory is the main character for the series, each of the other kids gets a book where their story is explored. This time it’s Andres’ turn. He’s a flyer but not in the usual way. He flies all the time. Only ceilings, a leash, and a backpack full of bricks protect him from floating away. But those things also make him dependent on others and limit his freedom. I was frustrated by how often the adults charged with Andres’ care neglected his needs or forgot about him. But at Dragon Haven, Andres gets to shine and it is so enjoyable.
The setting for this story was fantastic. Lots of creative dragon types for this world. And the setting also let the UDM kids interact with another group of kids. I enjoyed how things played out with the two groups.
In some ways this story is simple. But the setting and the identity pieces made it enjoyable for me. Fans of the series will enjoy this addition and getting Andres’ story.