Happy Thought: Dragonsong & Dragonsinger

The move has occurred, readers. With a minimum of broken glass and injury, no less.
This book has had at least six covers. This is a super old one, but
I think it's pretty. Old-fashioned, yes, but look at the
swirls and the pretty colors.
The unpacking has not.

(I'm going to try not to think about this.)

But I do want to share with you one of the most awesome aspects of moving. It's re-discovering old, worn books that I literally loved to bits as a kid. I had all but forgotten these until I had to pack them!

In fact, it inspired a MFT post.

(Oh, don't give me that oh-you're-so-corny eye-roll - you knew this was coming. Look at the title of this post!)

Ladies and gentleman, we now have a subset in the Happy Thought series. I call it OBG (a.k.a. "Oldies But Goodies"). These are backlist titles brimming with awesomeness. At least in my book.

(Hahahahahaha. Sorry. I couldn't resist the chance to be punny. Feel free to roll your eyes for this one.)


Okay, these are the first two books in Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy. (I have the third one, Dragondrums, too, but because the main character is different, I've only read that one once.)

Even wikipedia agrees, Anne McCaffrey's claim to fame is the Dragonriders of Pern series. Pern is a far-off planet, where this acid-rain type substance called Thread falls regularly. The only people on Pern who can fight it are the dragonriders, who establish mind-to-mind connections to one dragon and have a lifelong bond. The rest of the people hide out in specially fortified living areas called Holds and heart the dragonriders like whoa for keeping them safe. 

(Stop rolling your eyes!! I swear, I'll get to the point in a second!)

These two books are set in the same world, but they're not about a dragonrider. They're about
This is the current cover. The one you
be able to buy today.
Menolly, a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in an isolated Sea Hold, where people are a bit close-minded (hint: this is an understatement). And Menolly's dad, the Hold leader, is a bit more close-minded than the rest (hint: this is another understatement). Normally, this would just be annoying. But Menolly wants to be a Harper - a guild-trained musician who is assigned to the Hold to teach the youngsters - more than anything else in the world. Menolly's dad believes - well, most people believe - that girls can't be Harpers. 
Even though Menolly is a very good musician, even though she writes incredibly catchy songs (which only the best Harpers can do), her dad won't let her do what she loves. 

Again, the current cover.
You may be able to guess what happens next. 

(I have been told that this is an old-fashioned plot. I can't argue with that. But who cares? Really, who? Especially when you're say, eleven years old, and haven't really read much of that kind of thing before.


In Dragonsong, Menolly's life gets rough after Petiron - the Hold's Harper, her
This is the cover of my copy.
mentor, teacher, and closest friend - dies. Suddenly, no one in her home understands her. When her dad catches her making up a new song, he punishes her and forbids her from even touching an instrument. Then her knife slips and cuts open her hand, and her mother tells Menolly that she won't ever be able to play again. Even worse, when the new Harper arrives, no one will even let her sing - not wanting any outsider know how close Menolly was to the old Harper. 

So, Menolly runs away from home. She manages to survive on her own - Hatchet-style - despite Thread falling at regular intervals, which is supposed to be just as impossible as a girl being a Harper. She even manages to get some cool legendary pets called fire lizards, which you can see on every single covers.

I would tell you what happens in Dragonsinger, but it would spoil the ending for Dragonsong. It's awesome too. I promise. :-)

This one is the super pretty one.
Now, let's say that you're a sixth grade girl, who has a dream - an impulse - like Menolly's. Except to write books instead of songs. Let's say, you're also growing up in the South. No one's really telling you that you can't write, but you're starting to recognize that most of the people around you still have some backwards ideas about girls.

You can see the appeal, right?

Now you know why I reread it over and over. It was like gulping down girl power juice.

For any girl entering adolescence, or any kid who has a dream that not everyone believes in, or any young lady who finds herself living in the South again, I TOTALLY recommend it. :-)