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Children's Books - 9-12 Years New Titles

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The Dream Rangers - Book One: The New Cadets

ISBN: 9781732579958
Binding: Paperback
Author: Marjorie Burns
Illustrator: Carolyn Wilhelm
Pages: 282
Trim: 5.75 x 8.75 inches
Published: 04/15/2024

The New Cadets is the first novel in what will be a multi-volume series entitled The Dream Rangers because it features a group of dogs that have been specially trained to be Dream Rangers: spirit guardians who enter the dreams of children afflicted with nightmares and protect the children from harm. A warm-hearted novel written for dog lovers from eight to eighty, The New Cadets tells the story of nine young dogs and their first days of training: how they are found as toy dogs by secret agents from the Bureau of Dreams, how they are brought to the mysterious and hidden Academy, how they are magically transformed into real dogs, and how they begin their formal training in the Academy. As the nine toy dogs learn to use their real bodies and grow into their roles as new first-year Academy cadets, they learn the importance of friendship, loyalty, devotion, service, selflessness, perseverance, dedication, and courage.


Marjorie Burns was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She earned a PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, with a dissertation on fantasy and children's literature in 19th century England. Burns taught at Portland State University for more than thirty years. She is now retired from teaching and lives and writes in the Cascade Mountains.

Illustrator Carolyn Wilhelm lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she teaches classes in figure painting and portraiture.


"A magical tale in which stuffed animals become real and work to protect vulnerable children from nightmares, Marjorie Burns' The New Cadets is a tender and warm-hearted story that should engage both youngsters and those who read to/with them. Full of loveable and amusing doggy characters, as well as a fair bit of action and adventure, it would make for an entertaining and reassuring bedtime story." - Erin Britton

"Fun, creative, and original, The New Cadets by Marjorie Burns was a delight to read. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this children's book. Very imaginative, I think Burns wrote an excellent story, one that would entertain many children as well as their parents. I also loved the added illustrations from Wilhelm. A great complement, these beautiful drawings helped with breaking up passages, making them easier to understand for young readers, as well as adding a wonderful visual aid. Ending on quite a cliff-hanger, I am interested to see what she has in store for her next novel, and learning more about the life of a Dream Ranger!" - Theresa Kadair

"Marjorie Burns has created an out-of-this-world series that will draw in both adults and young readers in The New Cadets, a series of chapter books that follows the adventures of the Dream Rangers. As a dog-lover, I was curious about the premise of toy dogs helping children living tough lives who must deal with tearful and terrifying dreams. It has been a while since I read a book about dogs written for children. I could not put it down; I was emotionally invested from the start. Burns excels in world-building, offering vivid descriptions of locales such as the Outer Station and the Variable Sea. With the delightful artwork of Carolyn Wilhelm, the first installation of The New Cadets brings the lovable recruits to life." - Maileen Hamto

"Author Marjorie Burns has put a lot of careful thought into her imaginative book for children. She has created fun, unique characters and an interesting storyline, and she carries a great sense of humor throughout the book. She cleverly anticipates young readers' questions and has made sure to nail down the specifics of how the stuffed animals come to interact in the real world. Overall, Burns' first book in the Dream Ranger series is an excellent story for elementary-age children, promising an engaging tale. It is great for dog-obsessed kids or a useful aid for those who may be struggling with nightmares and sleep anxiety. Moreover, the narrative is written in a way that makes it an entertaining read for parents to read as well." - Michaela Gordoni