After her father dies, Piper earns a living by scrapping--salvaging and selling strange objects that fall from frequent meteor storms. Her skill for fixing all types machines brings in some extra money, but every day is a struggle. Life changes when Piper is trapped outside in a meteor storm. She witnesses the destruction of a trade caravan, but finds an injured girl and brings her home. Anna remembers only her name and that the man following her is dangerous. When the evil man tries to take Anna, Piper and Anna hide on train 401. With the help of some unusual and unexpected friends, Piper and Anna begin a journey to uncover Anna's past and to find where they belong.
Jaleigh Johnson creates a fantastical world with hints of steampunk and dystopia. By mixing bits of the three genres, Johnson's writing feels fresh and exciting rather than formulaic. Piper and Anna, as well as their friends on train 401, are intriguing and well-developed characters. Their adventures are captivating and the plot twists are captivating. While the writing is targeted for tween readers, the story is appropriate for younger readers and could be interesting for older readers also. The Mark of the Dragonfly would make an excellent family read aloud for a wide variety of ages.
The Mark of the Dragonfly will be published in March 2014.