Book Review: “The Boy Who Skated With Dragons” by Jim Bates

“The Boy Who Skated With Dragons” is a story about a shy boy who is timid and nervous about meeting new people and trying new things. He mostly stays home, playing in his dragon costume with his imaginary dragon friends. But imaginary dragon friends are not quite as fun as the real thing. So after finding a skateboard in his garage, the boy starts to practice alone at the park, and in doing so he meet friends who help him get better and better. Despite personal obstacles he must overcome to be outgoing and brave, he eventually harnesses his passion for skateboarding, which enables him to build confidence in himself to shoot for the stars and realize his dreams of being really great at the sport!  The boy kept working hard towards his goals to help to bring them to life!

Author Jim Bates is a Revolution skateboard team rider from Newbury Park, California. In the Author’s Note on the last page of this book, you can read about Jim and his many achievements, which I found very interesting! For being so young, he has led an exciting life, traveling all over the globe as a member of different skate boarding teams for events worldwide! I learned that in the early 2000s, Jim was one of the most prolific and sought after skate boarders in the U.S. He fell off the grid battling some personal demons but reemerged triumphant with this book, encouraging kids to chase their dreams like he did.

I very much appreciate the message behind this book. These days, we need more books written with encouraging, positive messages like this to show children that if they don’t at least try, than they have already failed. Knowing the backstory of Jim’s childhood and career really helped in understanding the book more. The “dragons” he refers to aren’t just imaginary friends or a costume he wears, but instead the dragons represent his shyness/reluctance to try new things and meet new people, the dragons can be the “demons” that have always been hindering him. The dragons appear throughout the book occasionally, reminding us they are always there, a part of the boy’s personality, but that he is overcoming them everyday.

Jim also has hand-drawn a coloring book based upon “The Boy Who Skated With Dragons” and creates artwork  and crafts

Title: The Boy Who Skated with Dragons