Five years have passed. David Rain has not returned. The North cannot support the Arctic animals, and the polar bears are disappearing. Changes have begun that cannot be undone.

It’s been five years since David Rain disappeared in the Arctic, and there have been many changes in the Pennywhistle household. Zanna and her daughter Lexie, who has never met her father, live in his old room, and still mourn their loss. Lucy, now sixteen, clings obsessively to her belief that David is not dead, in spite of the fact that his writing dragon, Gadzooks, has written only one word since he disappeared. Liz and Arthur are married now, and he helps bring a measure of peace to the somewhat chaotic household. And of course, the household dragons are still helping to make everything run smoothly, at home and at the shop Zanna now runs, called “The Healing Touch.”

But things in the far North are not running smoothly. The ice is melting, the polar bears are thin and hungry, the dragons rise, and the souls of the Inuit dead haunt the skies, mourning the loss of the land that cherished them for so many generations. The spirit of Gaia is restless, and a storm like no other roars through the Arctic, ripping a hole in the sky and screaming at the ice. The sea tosses, and the ice it supports shakes and cracks into random starbursts. The wind rips at the fur of the great white bear lying on the ice, and he rises to his feet and plunges ten claws into the ice. The soul of the north pours into his heart, bringing with it the terrible knowledge of a world disappearing too fast and too soon. He opens his mouth and roars his anger, his challenge to the sky. It is the beginning, but it is also the end, even though the people of Earth do not know it yet. 

Too much is unknown—is David alive, and if he is, where is he? Is there a way to heal the North and appease the spirit of Gaia? Will the magic of the Pennywhistle dragons be able to keep their humans safe? And, perhaps most important of all, who is Tam Farrell, and why is he asking questions about David and his disappearance, and befriending the two most important people in David’s life—Zanna and Lexie?

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.