Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon
by Ryan Estrada
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 09 Nov 2020
"Madcap antics and adventures." — KIRKUS
"A fun adventure tale with a lot of personality." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
“I want to tell you a story about being a student ambassador, but that will be boring. So instead, I’ll tell you about the time I almost got eaten by a crocodile.”
When eight-year-old student ambassador Joseph Bazan wins a photo op with the President of the United States, he doesn’t quite know what to expect, but it certainly isn’t hanging out with the leader of the free world in a secret compartment inside the resolute desk! Joseph’s pluck and kid logic not only charm the president, but they soon help resolve a thorny trade dispute. This gives POTUS an idea. Across the ocean, eight-year-old boy king Nang Nukatau III has taken his father's crown and clumsily stumbled into an international incident, and now Joseph’s got a pressing mission: talk the tiny dictator back from the brink of war!
The diplomatic slumber party soon goes from awkward to scary as the castle is stormed and the boys are lost across South Korea and Japan where they have to outrun bad guys, learn to read Hangul, unravel the riddle of Gyeongbok Palace, break out of an abandoned bathhouse, befriend an army of snow monkeys, and crack the Case of the Missing Dragon, all while showing Nang how to live in a world where everyone doesn’t always bow to you. Can a kid with a C+ in social studies solve the mystery and teach a king to be a kid?
Student Ambassador is a globe-trotting action-adventure set in the real world where dangers mount, the stakes are high, and smarts save the day!
Average rating from 15 members
Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon is a colorful and boldly illustrated adventure story with some political layers. I can see this book being an ideal match for an upper elementary/middle grades reader. Plenty of content to dig into, plenty of story to enjoy. All in all, a fun read.
I thought this was an offbeat satirical story which, though, pitched for children, could easily be enjoyed by adults. When Joseph wins an essay contest and gets to visit the President of the US, he suddenly finds himself acting as Ambassador for US Relations, first solving an issue with Canada and then being sent overseas to work with a child dictator. Nang is king now but doesn’t know how to be a good ruler. He has plenty of servants and a strong army but he has no friends. When he and Joseph survive a break in, fire and adventure, they both learn new things about themselves and each other. Superbly drawn and told, this would be perfect for Year 5 and 6 classes!
I was in the process of trying to slim down the book order I was placing. Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon was on that list and I remembered I hadn't read the ARC yet. Thankfully, I read the ARC, because omg, I absolutely have to have this book on our shelves! It's so much fun! It is absolutely full of the sort of weird humor that is exactly kid humor and the art is just delightful. Highly suggested purchase for all libraries who serve middle grade populations!
Joseph is a student ambassador who won an essay contest and gets to meet the President of the US. While in the Oval Office he manages to help the President negotiate a treaty with Canada that has been causing headaches. The President has another headache in the form of the child king of East Rhutar who won’t listen to reason, and gets the brilliant idea to send Joseph to see if he can help work things out. But Joseph may have bitten off more than he bargained for when bad guys come during his sleepover with the king and the two boys find themselves stranded in another foreign country with bad guys after them. This was a very fun concept (and one wonders if world politics couldn’t sometimes use the help of some children to cut through the ridiculous red tape and big egos to negotiate agreements). The adventure is fun. Both of the boys learn things. Readers will get to learn how to read the Korean alphabet through the process if they don’t know it already (the boys are stranded in Korea) and get a tour of a Korean historic site. And there’s plenty of excitement sprinkled with a healthy dose of humor. I hope there are more in this series. Students at my school will eat this up. Notes on content [based on the ARC]: No language issues or sexual content. The boys get in sticky situations but no one is every really hurt. I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Student Ambassador: The Missing Dragon was my first granted wish and I’m so happy I got to read it. It’s funny, witty, and really diverse. The story is action-packed, which is perfect for middle grade. It’s definitely the kind of books that will keep kids on their toes as they read it. The characters are really diverse. Joseph, the main character, is half Mexican. Joseph and Nang travel through Korea and Japan. There’s even a section where Joseph teaches Nang how to read Korean because Joseph’s babysitter is Korean and she taught him. The humor in this story was great. I found myself laughing out loud several times. It’s such an out-there and ridiculous story, which makes it even more perfect for Middle Grade. I’m so happy my wish was granted. I’m going to buy a copy of this story for my cousins because they love action-adventure books and this is one I could definitely see them reading in a day.
Great book for older elementary kids, with an action-filled story and realistic details about politics and diplomacy. Joseph wins a student ambassador contest and gets to meet the president, but soon finds himself on a real diplomatic mission. Joseph is a fun character, who uses his wits, observation of details, and knowledge he's picked up along the way (like basic Korean) to get himself and new friend the boy-king Nang out of trouble.