Squire With Fire

A Happy Dragon Tale

Children - Adventure
40 Pages
Reviewed on 05/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Joseph Cassis launched the Squire with Fire series to fulfill a promise he'd made to his daughter, Mallory, to write her a book about knights and dragons--though he didn't get around to it till he was a grandfather and Mallory was an adult with a daughter of her own.

Cassis, whose professional experience includes stints in business, IT, marketing, foodservice, teaching, publishing, and telecommunications, is an avid learner with a passion for history. He participated in the renowned University of Iowa's writers' workshop program and has written three screenplays, one of which was optioned in Hollywood. He loves to dabble in gadgets, innovations, and quantum physics and is currently working on a thermodynamic energy source for cooking in primitive places.

Squire with Fire: A Happy Dragon's Tale, published by FriesenPress in 2018, has won four awards: the Mom's Choice Gold Award, the 5 Star Readers' Choice Award, the Purple Dragonfly Book Award, and the Family Choice Award. Cassis lives with his wife, Joyce, and Carmella, their Labrador Retriever, in a beautiful home in Johnston, Iowa.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Squire With Fire by Joseph Cassis, Mac is intrigued by the unusual gold ring on his grandfather's finger and wants to know where it originated from. His grandfather begins to tell him that the ring has been handed down through the generations for 600 years. In medieval times, Mac's ancestors were squires who helped the knights in their various quests. To acquire the ring, the squires had to first show they were worthy of it. The qualities they had to learn included kindness to all, consideration of others, being honorable and brave. The grandfather relates the tale of a time in history when Sir Galahad, with the aid of his squires, was sent on a dangerous mission by the Queen of Rothesay Castle to save their village from a fierce dragon. As they find the dragon, one of the squires not only proves that they have earned the right to be called a knight, but that sometimes things are not all that they seem.

I love a children's book that has a great moral tale threaded through the plot. This wonderful story is concerned with good versus evil but with a brilliant twist at the end. There is such a great opportunity for children to learn about historical times, but also many moral lessons too. Mac and his grandfather discuss the importance of equality for everyone in society, not to judge someone's outer behavior at face value, but to consider there may be underlying reasons for it, such as fear, pain or sadness. The illustrations are excellent too with further opportunity to discuss the message. The story also encourages children to believe in their abilities and to step out of their comfort zone to achieve their goals. I loved the references to historical figures too, such as Joan of Arc and Sir Galahad. This a great adventure story for every child and I would love to see it in a school library where children could learn the importance of tolerance. I think it would certainly help the problem of bullying of children who are deemed 'different'.

Jack Magnus

Squire With Fire: A Happy Dragon Tale is an adventure fantasy storybook for children written and illustrated by Joseph Cassis. Mac loves spending time with Grandfather. Today, Mac wanted to know more about Grandfather’s shiny gold ring. He explained that it was a family heirloom handed down from father to child for generations. Grandfather told Mac that the ring was over 600 years old. The ring was passed on when a child passed the qualifications and acquired the skills needed to go into training to become a squire. What exactly did it take to become a squire and then a knight, Mac wondered? Grandfather then told Mac the story of their ancestor, Mackenzie Stewart, and his encounter with a very unusual dragon while he was a squire.

Squire With Fire: A Happy Dragon Tale is an entertaining and well-written story about an unlikely squire and the difficulties he faced with being treated seriously by the other squires. Cassis’ hero is not strong, tall and well-built, but through his hard work and determination, he manages to outshine the other squires in the most important ways. And when it came time to face a terrible and fearsome dragon, Mackenzie Stewart proves his mettle by being courageous in the face of fear. The author’s story shows how many of the precepts of chivalry are still relevant in today’s society, and the interaction between Grandfather and Mac are a delight. Any kid who has an interest in knights and dragons will love learning about the challenges, the armor and the training regimen young people had to follow to become knights. Squire With Fire: A Happy Dragon Tale is recommended.

Deanna R Sweeney

Squire with Fire: A Happy Dragon Tale by Joseph Cassis is a story about a boy named Mac and his grandpa. Mac is spending some time with his grandpa and notices an old ring on his grandpa’s hand. He asks about the ring and his grandpa tells him that it is a very old ring that has been passed down in the family for over six hundred years. The ring had been given to their ancestor to recognize his place as a squire. Mac’s grandpa tells him a story about their ancestor, a young knight named Mackenzie. He is smaller than the other squires and gets picked on because of it. When a dragon threatens the safety of the village, the knights go into the cave to try to kill it but they are all unsuccessful and get hurt quite badly while trying. Even the other squires try to defeat the dragon and fail but Mackenzie takes a different approach and ends up saving the day, making an unexpected friend in the process.

Squire with Fire: A Happy Dragon Tale by Joseph Cassis touches on several things that most young people struggle with in their lives; bullies, equality, and what happens when we jump to conclusions about others without keeping an open mind. It is a well written and engaging story for young people. I would have liked a few more pictures to help break up the text but I did like the ones that were included. I think that elementary school children will enjoy this story and will be able to relate to the life lessons embedded in the story.