Welcome to a world of dragons….
I absolutely loved the movie series How to Train Your Dragon. It blew my mind that it was based off a book, and ever since I had been chasing down a copy. It’s been years of me trying to find it at local bookstores (because why just find it online? The hunt is way more fun), but I finally came across it. Not through a store, but through a friend! A friend of mine grew up reading and binging this series, and when I happened to mention it was one I was looking for – BAM! I borrowed the book. It’s funny how things turn out, eh?
This book is the first in the series of How To Train Your Dragon. It follows Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (we just call him Hiccup), and his journey to become a Viking. There’s a special ritual the men of the tribe have to go through. They collect a dragon and train it. Once they’ve trained their dragon and completed special quests, voila! Viking! Hiccup is a little awkward turtle though. He ends up picking the smallest dragon, who most people are sure is the most wildly available (and kind of bland) dragon, but Toothless ends up being anything but. Small but mighty!
Hiccup and the band of misfits all end up totally blowing their chances at becoming Vikings… Until, by chance, a giant problem arises. Mean, evil dragons are there to destroy their crew! Well, this sounds like a time to call a bunch of hooligan Viking-wannabes and their barely trained dragons, right? It might not be the most sound of logic, but they take a chance anyways!
This book is an absolute delight. If you’re like me, you watched the movie first and then were oddly surprised when the book was NOTHING like the movie. They are vastly different, but still both excellent in their own right. You can tell that the movie took inspiration from the book but didn’t follow it 100%. I like that! It makes both of them their own separate entities. I honestly can’t wait to grab more books in the series. This book was an absolute delight.
I definitely recommend middle graders picking this book up. It’s fun, fast paced, has pictures and will take you away to a fantasy land. It’s goofy, silly and just a delight to read. I highly recommend it! Why, you might ask? Well, Hiccup is a lovable character with great ethics and goals. He does his best, isn’t perfect but still comes off as likeable and very real. He’s not whiny, or bratty, or anything annoying (like some other middle grade books). He wants to do his best and really tries to help everyone out. He loves his family, his dragon and his friends (even if some are super annoying). Then you have Toothless – he’s quite the little dragon who packs a very sassy punch. He’s a fun character who has a great character arc. Once you get past your main characters, you have a wealth of dragons and fun quirks about each of them. You can learn about the many fictional characters and be amazed by how much Cressida Cowell has put into them. Plus the humour in this book is awesome. It’s not all fart jokes – it holds up whether you are a kid or an adult. It put a big smile on my face.
Four out of five stars!
Want more delightful middle grade reads? Here are some of my absolute favourites, all of which have been featured on my blog. You’ll find my review, useful links and even more recommendations! Click the links below to be transported to your new (potential) favourite books:
The House with a Clock in it’s Walls by John Bellairs
Up the Creek by Kevin Miller
Tamora Carter; Goblin Queen by Jim C Hines
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