A Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor
Anya and the Dragon
Headstrong Anya is the daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When her family's livelihood is threatened by a bigoted magistrate, Anya is lured in by a friendly family of Fools, who promise her money in exchange for helping them capture the last dragon in Kievan Rus.
This seems easy enough—until she finds out that the scary old dragon isn't as old—or as scary—as everyone thought. Now Anya is faced with a choice: save the dragon, or save her family.
Anya is a new and memorable Jewish character who has forged her way into fantastic literature. Anya and the Dragon is highly recommended, not only for children but also for adults eager to find high-quality fantasy books with Jewish themes.
Jewish Book Council
With this clever, fast-paced debut, Pasternack draws upon the myth and folklore of Kievan Rus’ to deliver a delightful tale filled with supernatural creatures...a tale that never loses its sense of fun or wonder.
...vivid fantasy that blends Russian and Jewish folk traditions.
The plot keeps readers on their toes with skillful pacing ... [it] puts a spin on the usual dragon story without losing its excitement.
Center for Children's Books
An irresistible blend of moral quandaries, magic, humor, danger, and bravery. Imaginative details bestow a fairy-tale-like quality to the story, which will effortlessly ensnare historical fantasy fans.
This delightful series opener is an exciting blend of Russian and Jewish traditions.
The combination of sweet characters, enduring relationships, strong faith, and a spellbinding adventure conjures up an irresistible tale readers of all ages will enjoy.
Anya fulfills the need for Jewish characters that rise above their circumstances without abandoning their religion. Anya is a character for the child I once was.
This is such a gorgeous story of friendship and bravery and harnessing your power, and I loved every minute of it!
There's a lot to like in this book: a spunky main character, a one-of-a-kind dragon, an authentic historical setting, and mythology that's seamlessly woven into the story.
Fresh, funny, sometimes scary, and always magical.
EMMY IN THE KEY OF CODE
JAGGER JONES AND THE MUMMY'S ANKH
THE INQUISITOR'S TALE
Funny, fast-paced, and with an unforgettable cast that you can't help but love.
Colorful and funny and full of fantastic details and so much heart. My kids and I read it together and loved every second of it!
This book subverts expectations at every turn in the best possible way, and I absolutely loved reading it.
MATCH ME IF YOU CAN
Anya and the Dragon received the Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor for Middle Grade published in 2019!
The STBA is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.
One of my first acts of confidence with the manuscript of Anya and the Dragon was submitting it to the Ink & Insights critiquers. I paid $35 (I'm pretty sure) and got back a TON of amazing feedback for my first 100 pages. All entries were also put in the running for contest winnings, but I did it for the feedback and I was happy with that.
Then a couple months later I got an email telling me I had won second place for the Apprentice category AND had won Judges' Favorite!
It was such a huge confidence boost and why I had the courage to submit to PitchWars a few months later.
Anya (Kozlova) and the Dragon was a PitchWars '17 selection! I was lucky enough to work with the ultra talented Alexandra Ott, and she helped me fix this little novel up enough to land my agent, Rena Rossner, out of the contest!