Kohei still dreams of being three years old at the last dragon parade, holding his smiling grandfather’s hand as huge winged Western dragons flew overhead and sinuous Japanese ryu dragons strode along Osaka’s streets at the end of World War II.
His maternal grandfather was so angry about Kohei’s father dying soon afterward that he made the boy take his mother’s family name – maybe Ojiisan would be happy if he had a big dragon again, bigger than ryu Yuharu who rides on Kohei’s shoulder.
Isolde moves in downstairs, with her Japanese-American mom, Polish-American dad, and winged dragon Cheshire (very small, Kohei is so disappointed) – imagine starting middle school in a new country and language!
When Ojiisan is suddenly hospitalized, Kohei decides that he must bring a ryu to him. Isolde never knew her grandparents who died in concentration camps in the United States and Poland during the War, so she wants to help.
Venturing into Papa’s study, Kohei finds details about how ryu are hatched, so he and Isolde travel to the faraway New Ryugyu-jo where their dragons will help bring a special ryu into the world.
When the biggest ryu Kohei has ever seen snatches the baby ryu, of course he has to follow and save her!
His memories shift like a kaleidoscope as Kohei learns more about his father’s and grandfather’s pasts.
How far, how far will we go to bring comfort to those we love?
Book info: The Lost Ryu / Emi Watanabe Cohen. Levine Querido, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.