So my son and I have worked our way through all eight How to Train Your Dragon books. From the very first, How to Train Your Dragon through How to Cheat A Dragon’s Curse and on into How to Break A Dragon’s Heart. We read every silly word from Toothless the dragon. We went on harrowing adventures with the unlikely hero, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third and his even less likely heroic friends Fishlegs and Camacazi. We learned Viking legends and laughed heartily at ridiculous names like Big-Boobied Bertha and Snotface Snotlout and Baggybum the Beerbelly. We discovered new words and beneath it all the timeless theme of friendship and loyalty and good vs evil.
It’s easy for books like this to fall into a formula. Oftentimes they start out with a bang and end with a whimper. I honestly think this series got bogged down a bit – books 3,4 and 5 dragged on – but the series finished in great fashion. (Though there might be another book coming out, I haven’t seen an announcement but I haven’t searched too hard either.)
It took us six months of reading at the breakfast table before school to get through them all. And they are days I will always remember fondly. My son’s interests are starting to shift from fanciful tales about dragons and moving to books about sports. Just like I did with his sisters, I’ll follow his interests wherever they may be – as long as he’ll let me read about them out loud.
Overall grade for the series: B
It’s not a must-read series but it’s entertaining and silly. I think boys in particular would find them a fun way to jump into some longer books when they’re ready for that level.
Next up on the list: some books by Mike Lupica. He’s one of my favorite sportswriters (a good sportswriter has such an excellent vocabulary) but I’m not sure this book is really at J’s interest level. We’ll keep exploring… and reading.
Let me know if you have any recommendations.