James's blog

  • A giant Dragon Bros map in Aotea Square!

    A giant Dragon Bros map in Aotea Square!

    As part of the Auckland Writers Festival, the map that appears on the end papers of the Dragon Brothers Trilogy has been super-sized and stuck to the ground outside the Aotea Centre. Folks can download the AR Reads app, and watch it come to 3D life! The dragons are the size of dinner plates!
  • Resources and School visits

    Resources and School visits

    James Russell is a passionate advocate for children's literature and visits over 60 New Zealand schools a year inspiring children to read and to write. Some of these are arranged by Read NZ Te Pou Muramura (formerly NZ Book Council) or the Storylines National Children's Literature Trust. Others are simply schools getting in touch and requesting a visit. Some of James's visits to schools...
  • Getting your kids reading this summer

    Getting your kids reading this summer

    For some kids, the thought of a long summer swinging gently in hammocks, lying under trees or baking on a beach reading book after wonderful book is the very definition of bliss. For other kids, it’s a nightmare. No sooner does a longed-for holiday arrive than parents go and spoil it by insisting that their children read books. For me, my heart swells when...
  • on Breaking Art - The Podcast

    on Breaking Art - The Podcast

    Jason Naylor, a photographer from Wellington, has kicked off Breaking Art - a podcast about the "alchemy of creativity and commerce." He showed up in his Combi van and we cruised out to the Otuataua Stonefields to take this photo and do the interview. It was a lot of fun. Listen to it at http://breakingart.net/childrens-book-author-james-russell/

Louise Ward

Wardini Books and RNZ critic

"The plot is thrilling, the setting at once idyllic and dangerous. Readers will be inspired to leave their devices and see what they can see from the top of a tree, to go outside, look for dragons, and have adventures as breathtaking as Paddy, Flynn and Briar."

Adele Broadbent


"Part 3 in this heart-pounding adventure is sure to please Dragon Defenders fans. An Unfamiliar Place pounds the young brothers with new challenges, but with their feathered accomplice (Lightning the falcon) along for the ride, they battle through and never give up! The story stands on its own but the digital side of this great Kiwi series is a wonderful bonus. Loved it!"

Charlotte McKay

Judge, NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults

"Told at a rip-roaring pace with feats of incredible daring, masterful guile, and heart-stopping action. This is the book the fans have been waiting for!"

Eileen Merriman

award-winning author of A Trio of Sophies and Pieces of You

"A fast-paced action adventure that will have readers hanging on until the last page."

Tom E. Moffatt

award-winning author of Barking Mad and Mind-Swapping Madness

"An earth-shattering adventure of seismic proportions. You might need to feign sickness so you can finish it in one sitting."

Jenna Todd

NZ Book Awards Judge, Time Out Books manager

"I had so much fun reading this. It’s a rollicking adventure with a loveable cast of brave heroes."
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