In this timely and timeless speculative novel, set in 1950s America, Kelly Barnhill exposes a world that wants to keep girls and women small - and examines what happens when they rise up. Alex Green is four years old when she first sees a dragon. In her next-door neighbour's garden, in the spot where the old lady usually sits, is a huge dragon, an astonished expression on its face before it opens its wings and soars away across the rooftops. And Alex doesn't see the little old lady after that. No one mentions her. It's as if she's never existed. Then Alex's mother disappears, and reappears a week later, one quiet Tuesday, with no explanation whatsoever as to where she has been. But she is a ghostly shadow of her former self, and with scars across her body - wide, deep burns, as though she had been attacked by a monster who breathed fire.