Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Book Nook: Sterling and Nugget the Dragon

I recently had a chance to review Judd Shaw's Sterling and Nugget the Dragon, a medieval adventure that encourages the knight in shining armor within any child by fostering growth in social and emotional development!

In a land far away, many fear a dragon named Nugget—including Sterling, a brave young boy, who dreams of becoming a knight. Sterling sets out to slay the dragon, until his quest presents him with a choice: fight or help. In choosing kindness and compassion, Sterling becomes a true knight. As the first story in Judd B. Shaw’s Sterling the Knight series of medieval adventures, Sterling and Nugget the Dragon teaches kids how kindness is mightier than the sword. 

I thought this book was a sweet (if a little predictable) take on the idea of conquering the fierce fire breathing dragons. It's a cute story (and I love the dragon's name) that can show kids how taking time to be curious and kind can win more battles than bravery and fights.

You can learn more in this interview with the author.

Why did you write this book?
One day, I was with my son, who was 9 at the time, and he was frustrated with his older sister. She was a pre-teen entering a new stage in her life. I explained to my son about not being judgmental and stepping into her shoes for a moment, so that he could better understand what she might be going through.

Empathy can be a difficult concept to understand at that age. But I also was keenly aware of how important empathy would be in their support of each other. I believe if they could be compassionate towards each other, they will more likely stay emotionally healthy as individuals.

In this first book, Sterling & Nugget The Dragon, we learn how empathy is mightier than the sword. The main character, Sterling, a brave young boy, has dreamed of becoming a knight. Sterling sets out to slay the dragon that was feared by all. On this adventure, Sterling is faced with a choice: fight or help. In choosing to deal with the dragon named Nugget with kindness and compassion, Sterling becomes the knight he always wanted to be.

How can it be helpful for kids to see a book that turns traditional tales a little upside down?
My hope is that Sterling will bring out the knight in shining armor in children, through promoting tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of empathy.

What are your plans for the rest of the series?
Sterling, A Knight In Shining Armor is the second book in the series and continues Sterling’s adventures. In this story, Sterling attends Knights’ Training School, where Sterling meets a young girl named Jada. She is not permitted to compete in the tournaments with the boys because she is a girl. Sterling knows that Jada is skillful in swordsmanship, an experienced falconer, and worthy of knighthood so he “fights” for Jada’s equal opportunity to prove herself. By respecting diversity, equality and non-discrimination, Sterling teaches the importance of respecting others, regardless of their differences. In the first book, we learn that empathy is mightier than the sword. In this next adventure, we learn that your voice is more powerful than the sword in making change.

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