THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN, by Shutta Crum (Knopf 2010)(ages 8-12). Twelve-year-old Thomas is the eldest of ten children and the one who has to take care of the rest. Although small for his age, he's always dreamt of having an adventure and becoming a knight. He gets his chance when Sir Gerald takes him as his squire. At the castle, he learns there's more to becoming a knight than mere adventure -- it's hard work, involving learning the use of weapons, manners, and, worst of all, dancing.
But then the unthinkable happens: while all the other knights are away defending the border, the Princess Eleanor is captured by the Dragon Queen. So Thomas must now undertake a desperate quest all by himself - to rescue the princess and slay the dragon!
THOMAS AND THE DRAGON QUEEN is a fun and charming story of chivalry and adventure and lake monsters and dragons and a boy's quest to find where he best fits in the world.