Cover of The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen

Dragon’s Boy, The

This novel began as a short story also called “The Dragon’s Boy” (see Merlin’s Booke) but eventually grew to novel length. I had to first read a lot about the Arthurian cycle of stories. But I also had to learn about England around the fifth century. I spent time down in the English fen country, going on walks and visiting museums, checking on the flora and fauna. The castle is a bit of a cheat, though, because I actually borrowed bits and pieces of Stirling Castle in Scotland, near which I live in the summer. The book was on the 1995-96 Iowa Children’s Choice Award Master List and a 1992 North Dakota Flickertail Award nominee. There is a Danish edition.


  • Finalist for the South Carolina Junior Book Award
  • Finalist for the Georgia Book Award
  • Finalist for the Indiana Young Hoosier Book Award
  • Finalist for the Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award.

What reviewers have said:

  • “In an original novel based on Arthurian legend, a gigantic dragon becomes young Artos’s mentor, imparting his wisdom of books, tricks, and wondrous tales. Artos is at first furious and then deeply moved to discover that the dragon is really a feeble old alchemist named Merlinnus. A crisply told, accessible, and entertaining story.” — Horn Book
  • “A good introduction to Arthurian legend, this is a retelling of the education and coming of age of 13-year-old Artos (Arthur). … Basing the story on recognized Arthurian scholarship, Yolen skillfully develops those aspects of Artos’ character that will guide him in his adult life–courage, compassion, and fairness. The book serves as a foundation for further reading of Arthurian tales. Some of the vocabulary and references to Celtic folklore may be unfamiliar to readers, but these add authenticity and richness without detracting from the enjoyment of the story.” — School Library Journal
  • “Yolen’s tale is engaging and consistent…”–Kirkus