All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Chris d'Lacey

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Chris d'Lacey was born in Malta but moved with his family to Leicester, England, when he was a child. Growing up, he loved to play soccer and appear in school plays. In fact, his book The Prompter is based on his own experience in a school production of Peter Pan. He was too excitable for an actual role in the play, so his teacher made him the "prompter," who helps the actors when they forget their lines. Then, two days before opening night, one of the actors came down with the chicken pox, and d'Lacey found himself playing the role of Captain Hook!

As a teenager, d'Lacey wanted to be rock star like David Bowie. He wrote songs, played the guitar, and even dyed his hair funny colors. Songwriting eventually lead to creative writing when d'Lacey wrote a short story about polar bears to go with the stuffed polar bear he bought his wife for Christmas.

His first children's novel, Fly Cherokee, Fly, like The Prompter, is based on a true story. d'Lacey found an injured pigeon in a park and nursed it back to health. For the next 14 years, it lived in a birdhouse in his backyard. (You can learn more about Cherokee in our video interview.) His best-known books are the two series of books about dragons — The Dragons of Wayward Crescent, with friendly beasts for younger children and The Dragon Chronicles, which follows the adventures of David Rain after he realizes that he's sharing a house with some live dragons.

Chris worked for 28 years in the biology laboratory at the University of Leicester in Leicester, England.  It was there, during tea breaks, that he began to try his hand at writing.  He still lives in Leicester with his wife, but now does his writing at home — full-time — when he's not out visiting schools.

Selected Books

from Chris d'Lacey

Fly, Cherokee, Fly

Age Level: 9-12

When Darryl finds an injured racing pigeon, he nurses it back to health and hopes to return it to its rightful owner. When he learns that the owner might kill the untraceable bird, Daryl decides to keep the pigeon.

Buy Fly, Cherokee, Fly

Pawnee Warrior

Age Level: 9-12

How far would you go to protect what you love — even if it's just a baby pigeon?

Buy Pawnee Warrior

The Fire Within

Age Level: 9-12

David Rain is a student, desperate to find lodgings. When he moves in to Wayward Crescent with Mrs. Pennykettle and her daughter, he realizes he's also sharing the house with dragons!

The dragon lore and backgrounds first introduced in The Fire Within continues in Icefire with David now in college. The series continues with the exciting Fire Star and David's involvement with polar bears as well as dragons. Both of these are most appropriate for kids 11-14 years old. Dark Fire is the 2010 addition to the dragon lore series.

Buy The Fire Within


Age Level: 9-12

Jack buys an old stuffed bear at a thrift shop, planning to draw it for his art project. But that bear gets him into a whole lot of trouble.

Buy Horace