Flying the Dragon

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013 and a new year of reading!


I am thrilled to start off our year with a student book review by Kaito. He recently read Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dia Lorenzi and submitted this book report as soon as he returned from winter break.

Main Characters: Grandfather, Hiroshi and Skye.

Story Setting: The story takes place in Japan and America.

Story summary: Grandfather lives in America. Hiroshi lives in Japan. Grandfather and Hiroshi fly dragon kites. His grandfather is now sick, so the entire family has to move to America. Hiroshi has to hang-out with his cousin Skye.

Main Events: The main event is the kite battle in Washington, DC. Hiroshi and Skye battle the other competitors with their dragon kite.

1 opinion and 1 fact about the story: Dragon kites are real and legendary. I think dragon kites are fun to fly.

Thank you Kaito for sharing your ideas about this book. I read it too and thought it was pretty terrific. I learned a lot about the Japanese language, culture and kite flying from reading it.

This book is a chapter book and would be good for kids in grades 3rd and up. It is in the realistic fiction section of our library. The call number is F LOR  REALISTIC

You can also read about how the  illustrator Kelly Murphy created the cover for The Flying Dragon. Click on this link to take you to that interview.


Have you ever flown a kite before?

What do you like to do for fun with your grandparents?

Leave us a comment and let us know!


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23 thoughts on “Flying the Dragon

    • Dear Kaito,
      I am SO happy that you enjoyed Flying the Dragon! I thought it might be something you would like. It was a super surprise to see you wrote a book report too on your vacation! WOW!

      I wonder what you are going to read next. Let me know if you need ideas…
      Mrs. Hembree

  1. Dear Mrs Hembree,

    Once again a huge thank you all the way from Australia on another wonderful book I need to read. Also a huge thank you to Kaito on writing a wonderful book review. Need to add this book to read books list hope I get enough time to read.

    When I was younger I truly loved flying kites so much so that I would make my very own.

    Happy flying high with your kite.

    From your pal down under,
    AA 🙂

    • Dear AA,

      It’s fun to hear that you loved flying kites as a child.Plus you made them too! Wow!

      I never did a lot of kite flying. I tried, but we had too many trees near my house and that was a problem. I tried a few times at the beach, but I didn’t have enough practice. My kites always seemed to divebomb down into the sand. That was the end of that!

      Did you know the author of The Flying Dragon is lives in Australia too? Plus she is a school librarian! 🙂

      From your WA friend,
      Mrs. Hembree

  2. Hi Mrs.Hembree!
    Its Rowan! I saw that you were staff star ! That is sooo amazing, and you got to go to the global forum! I miss being at Bell but Middle School is pretty cool! You have helped me be prepared for middle school with the research projects we had to do and teaching us about poetry and bibliographies and much more! I hope you can share your blog and your knowledge even farther out into the world.
    Thank You!

    • Hi Rowan,
      I’m so glad to hear from you! Thank you for the compliment. It makes me happy to know that the projects we did in library class are helping you in middle school.
      What are you reading these days? Did you read Wonder yet?
      Keep reading!
      Mrs. Hembree

  3. Dear Kaito and Mrs. Hembree,
    I am writing you from Friends School in Baltimore, Maryland where I teach 4th grade. We are learning how to comment on various blog posts. Kaito, I used your wonderful book review post as an example for my 17 fourth grade students to comment on. Thank you so much! This time, they just wrote their comments to me on paper. My hope is that they will have time to type in their comments to you. You also inspired me to have my students write a book review for the core novel we are about to finish called Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel. I am currently reading Wonder as a read aloud. We all absolutely love the book. Have you ever read it? Take care and happy reading!

    • Dear Jillien and the students at Friends School,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write to us! Kaito is going to be so excited to read that you wrote to him. it’s his lucky day because the author of The Flying Dragon wrote to him too!

      We do book reviews and book trailers a lot here. You will see the links at the top of the main blog page. We have student book reviews, and student and teacher book trailers.

      Yes, I love Wonder and so do the students here! I made a book trailer for it last spring. Our 5th grade teachers just finished reading it aloud to their students. Plus, it’s one of the books for our district reading competition Battle of the Books.

      If you have time, the movie Blindsight would be an awesome complement to Wonder.

      Happy Reading!
      Mrs. Hembree

  4. Hi, Kaito,

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Flying the Dragon! Thank you for taking the time to read and post about the book.

    Mrs. Hembree, I’m also a school librarian and love the idea of having a blog where students can review books. 🙂

    aa, happy kite-flying to you Down Under!

    🙂 Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    • Dear Ms. Diaz Lorenzi,

      Thank you so mucn for commenting on our blog. I ran to Kaito’s classroom teacher to let her know that you wrote to Kaito. He is going to be so thrilled!

      It’s fun knowing that you are a school librarian too! I love our Australian connections!

      What part of Australia do you live in? I know it’s summer there. It’s it very hot?

      I hope you are working on another book!
      Mrs. Hembree

  5. Dear Ms.Hembree,
    Lately I have been reading a lot of fantasy books. Right now I am reading wildwood, it is really good. I haven’t read wonder yet, the story sounds sad.

    • Dear Rowan,
      I tried Wildwood. I got lost in the woods and gave up. Wonder is more real than sad. It’s actually very inspiring. I read Capture the Flag by Kate Messner and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage over the weekend. Both are mysteries and I liked them a lot.

      Mrs. Hembree

  6. Dear Mrs. Hembree,
    I will have to look into those. Wildwood is a long book and I hope I don’t get bored, I can see why you would want to stop reading it.

  7. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    Sorry for the confusion–I’m not from Australia, I was just saying hello to “aa,” the person from Australia who left a comment. 🙂

    I live outside of Washington, DC, but would love to visit Australia one day! I lived in Japan for two years, and many of my teaching colleagues visited Australia.

    Happy Librarian-ing! 😉


    • Dear Natalie,
      Well I really misunderstood that one didn’t I? Oops! So sorry!

      The final big scene is in Washington, DC. Is that because you live near there?

      I wonder which DC monument/sight is your favorite to visit.

      Mrs. Hembree

  8. Dear Mrs. Hembree,

    No worries–I *wish* I could visit Australia! 🙂 I do live near Washington DC, in northern Virginia. I’ve been to the kite festival that my main characters enter, and it’s lots of fun to watch!

    I would say that my favorite monument to visit is the Lincoln Memorial. The statue of Lincoln seated is amazing, and you can really get a sense of what a great leader he was. There’s also a beautiful view of the reflecting pool. I hope you get to see it one day!


    • Dear Natalie,

      When I was 10, I went with my mom and some friends to Washington, DC. We drove from our small town in Massachusetts. We saw so many sights, but the one that I still remember clearly was visiting the Lincoln Memorial and seeing the Washington Monument. I felt like I had stepped back in time.

      Mrs. Hembree

  9. P.S.
    Rowan, I haven’t ready Wildwood but it looks good. I’ll be curious to see if you recommend it once you’re finished with it.

    I’m currently reading Wonder along with my 5th grade daughter. So far, we both love Auggie’s voice–so authentic.

  10. Reply to Jillien (message #9):

    Dear Ms. Jillien,

    Thank you for using my post as an example for your class.

    I have never read Silverwing, so maybe that should be my next book to read.


  11. Reply to Natalie Dias Lorenzi (message #11):

    Dear Mrs. Lorenzi,

    Thank you so much for looking at my post and replying back to me.


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