Hello, you!  Time for another big byte.

This time, I have a review for Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen.  You remember him, right?  He came to my school … let’s see … umm … a year or so ago.

Well, it certainly is a good book, I can tell you that.  It’s about three Oxford scholars who find out that they have to protect a book of maps, the Imaginarium Geographica.  They later meet Bert, a humble, kind of short, chubby man.  Then, they get on a ship (whose captain is Bert’s daughter Aven) to stop the Winter King, an evil “king” who wants to take over the silver throne and rule all of the Archipelago of Dreams (the world where most of the story takes place).  They all realize how powerful the Imaginarium Geographica is, so they decide to destroy it.  However, the only person who can destroy the map is the person who made the map.

Later, they lose the book.  They find out that the Winter King has it, so they and their allies decide to have an all-out battle against The Winter King and his minions.  Then, they figure out that Bert is actually – hey, wait a minute!  You’ll have to figure that out for yourself!

I give this book a B (8/10).  For me, it was hard to get into, and it was kind of slow, but the plot was good nonetheless.

This book really taught me more about friendship.  Friendship is really powerful and can conquer a war.  You should really stick close to your friends because one day, you’ll hear news of them.  It might be good, or it might be bad.  Without friends, you’re always lonely, but with friends – especially those who are really close to you – you have a really strong team, even if it’s just the two of you.

Stay tuned for the next Byte!

*Shout out to my Language Arts teacher.  Without her, I would’ve never read Shakespeare at my age.

Here is one of my own recipes.  Tell me what you think!


Dragon Granita


1-3/4 cup blood orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1/4 lime, no seeds please!


1. Over medium heat, mix the sugar and the water together in a medium saucepan until the mixture boils.  Give it a stir every now and then.  Then, cool.  Well, looky here, you’ve made yourself some simple syrup!
2. In a bowl, pour in the blood orange juice, the simple syrup, and the lime juice and stir to combine.
3. Pour mixture on a sheet pan.  Freeze for 4 hours.
4. After 4 hours, scrape the icy goodness with a fork so that it creates small icy granules.
5. Continue doing this for every 30 minutes after that.  This will create smaller granules, thus, a smoother texture on your tongue.
To serve:

With a spoon, scoop up the amount you want into a glass cup (that has been in the freezer for 4 hours as well).  Garnish with a little mint or some more sugar.


About Michael 

Michael is an eighth grade student who loves to read and cook. That’s right, cook!  He joined Kids Need to Read because he thought that it would be a great opportunity to help everyone open up to literacy. “When you read, you read.  When you watch TV, you watch TV.  When you create a story, you open your mind.” — Michael


3 Responses to “MICHAEL’S BOOK BYTES: Book Review – Here, There Be Dragons”

  1. Lindsay on September 11th, 2009 4:45 pm

    I adored this book! And I found the sequel even better…I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t gotten the chance to read the third yet as I am waiting for it to come out in soft cover.

  2. Diane on September 15th, 2009 10:21 pm

    Oh, Michael! As always your review was well written and teased just enough that I want to read the book!
    Awesome job!

    The recipe? Gonna save that one for Halloween…mmmm.

  3. Denise Gary on September 20th, 2009 1:59 am

    The lessons you learned about friendship could not be more true!

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