The Painted Boy

Charles de Lint's young adult novel is about a young boy born with a mysterious dragon tattoo on his back.

Charles de Lint

At age 11, Jay Li inherits a peculiar trait from his grandmother: the appearance of a large dragon painting on his back, signalling his status as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan. Instead of finishing high school and working in his parents' restaurant, Jay Li leaves Chicago for the gang-infested town of Santo del Vado Viejo in the Arizona Desert, where he must undergo an uncertain spiritual journey and come to terms with his half-human, half-dragon self. The Painted Boy is replete with gang and animal clan tensions, a boy fulfilling his destiny and a love interest in the form of a female lead guitarist.

The Painted Boy is for readers ages 12 and up.

From the book

The boy had finally fallen asleep. Standing at the side of his bed, Susan Li pulled the cover down and studied the dragon tattoo that was not a tattoo. It took up most of her eleven-year-old son's back, a complicated pattern of golds and yellows with black outlines, the image bearing a disturbing similarity to the logo of the restaurant downstairs.

From The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint ©2010. Published by Viking Books.