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Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite
Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is the story of four siblings engrossed in their digital devices. Lola is on her iPad researching global warming, Liam and Toby with the laptop are watching funny cat videos, and Sara, the teenager, is chatting away on her cell phone with her friends. When the children don’t listen to their grandma, she takes away their devices and instructs them to clean the barn. Discouraged by the filth in the barn, Lola cracks on with the work, thinking the sooner they finish cleaning, the sooner she can get back to her research project, but her siblings have other plans. Liam and Toby set the game in motion, and Sara, the eldest, surprisingly, is also willing. Three of the siblings search for ways to defend themselves from the imaginary hungry dragons, but Lola feels out of place because this imaginative game does not come as easily to her as it does to her siblings. With some help from their grandma, Lola finds a way to let her imagination run free.
Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is a well-written story that is insightful, refreshing, and relevant to our times. I remember a time when playing in the yard and using your imagination was the best fun you could have. Due to digital transformation and parents attempting to balance work and home life, digital devices have become the go-to toy to keep children busy. Higgins explores this troubling reality and reminds children and adults alike about the importance of using your imagination and how, unlike the world, through imagining, anything is possible and thus more fun and exhilarating. On the other hand, the story also shows how the brilliant young Lola uses her intelligence in the imaginative world; therefore, intellect and imagination complement one another. Dragons in the Barn by Ennes Higgins is a heart-warming story that I loved reading.