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Freedom Fire (Dactyl Hill Squad II)

By Daniel José Older


“A mind-bendingly original series.” - The New York Times Book Review

Magdalys and the squad are flying south on pteroback.

South to rescue her older brother.

South to war.

The squad links up with the dino-mounted troops of the Louisiana Native Guard, an all-black regiment in the Union Army fighting to free their people. They're led by General Sheridan, surrounded by enemy forces in Tennessee and desperate for any edge to sway the tide of battle. 

Magdalys's burgeoning powers might be the Union's last hope. But she doesn't want to abandon the search for her brother. And she might not be the only one with a mysterious connection to dinosaurs.

With the Civil War raging around her and the Union on the brink of collapse, how can Magdalys choose between the army that needs her help to survive and the brother she risked everything to save?


Reviews and Awards for Dactyl Hill Squad:

A New York Times Notable Book
NPR Best Books of the Year
School Library Journal Best Books of the Year
New York Public Library Best Books of the Year
Washington Post Best Books of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

"Older fascinatingly blends thunder-lizard thrills with lesser-known but important aspects of American history.... Readers will adore Magdalys Roca.... Far from a natural hero, Magdalys displays a realistic mix of terror and gumption in the face of the monsters around her, reptilian and human. Where else will her adventures carry her? There's another installment of this mind-bendingly original series coming, sure to be eagerly awaited." - The New York Times Book Review

⋆ "Epic....This high-energy title is perfect for middle graders, with its strong female protagonist, a fresh perspective on history, helpful notes and resources, and an honest portrayal of the complex topics of race and gender." -- School Library Journal, starred review

⋆ "Delightful historical fantasy.... Rooted in real events and attitudes, and appended with facts about the time, this fast-paced adventure makes for a memorable tale in which numerous characters of color take the lead." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Dactyl Hill Squad has everything a reader could possibly want in a middle-grade book: action, adventure, magic, humor and dinosaurs. Magdalys is the same kind of young, engaging and flawed protagonist as Philip Pullman's Lyra--a character readers can't help but love even when (especially because) she's frustrating. An entertaining and wholly fulfilling series opener." - Shelf Awareness

"Daniel has imagined the unimaginable and in doing so sends readers on a dino thrill ride. I have been talking about this book nonstop! The kids, the dinosaurs, the Civil War, this book is true fire. It is everything I didn't even know I needed." - Jacqueline Woodson, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

"An extraordinary adventure full of heart and imagination that adults will enjoy reading just as much as kids! This is the story that would've made me fall in love with reading when I was a kid." - Tomi Adeyemi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone

"In this Tyrexcellent historical realignment - fast paced, but deceptively packed with amazing detail - Older's uprising of sheroes and heroes grips, stomps, and soars from start to finish." - Rita Williams-Garcia, New York Times bestselling author of One Crazy Summer

"Dactyl Hill Squad is an engaging, lively adventure with a heroine I wish I were, in a world I didn't want to leave." - Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award-winning author of Sing, Unburied, Sing

"This incredible story brings history to life with power, honesty, and fun." - Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of Chains

"A crackling fantasy adventure full of thrilling scenes." - James McPherson, author of Pulitzer Prize-winner Battle Cry of Freedom

"Kids, the Civil War, and dinosaurs-action doesn't get any better than this!" - Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author of The Song of the Lioness

"As an historian of New York City, I'm thrilled with Daniel José Older's melding of the best of history and fantasy in Dactyl Hill Squad. I couldn't put it down!" - Leslie Harris, author of In the Shadow of Slavery

"This action-packed historical fantasy adventure should have wide appeal, leaving fans eager for the next installment. Dino-fueled fun with depth." - Kirkus Reviews

"Older's rousing mix of actual history and dinosaurs will be irresistible to the upper-elementary and middle-school crowds." - Booklist

"Middle schoolers will be drawn to this new alternate history adventure series.... Nonstop action keeps readers engaged.... It is worth noting that this novel is richly infused with real historical people and places. The social and political issue of racial prejudice permeates the storyline.... Look for this series to be popular with students and spur further interest in the Civil War." - School Library Connection


Purchase Options
Indiebound • Amazon


Summer 2019
Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 978-1-338-26884-3
Price: $16.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 304


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