book review · middle grade

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell ||Yell at it

How_to_Train_Your_Dragon_(2003_book_cover)Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a truly extraordinary Viking hero known throughout Vikingdom as “the Dragon Whisperer”…but it wasn’t always so. Travel back to the days when the mighty warrior was just a boy, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans. Can Hiccup capture a dragon and train it without being torn limb from limb? (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

I normally don’t review MG books, but I thought I’d make an exception because this series was such a huge part of my childhood and the final (!) book is coming out in October. I also feel kind of like I need to stand up for it.

I’ve heard of a lot of people who went and saw the movie without knowing it was based on a book. Hey, I’m friends with some of these people. But some of these people will also give the book a low, one or two star rating because the plot of the book was so different from the plot of the movie. AND THAT IS NOT FAIR TO THE BOOK. That’s like going to the Percy Jackson movies and expecting the books to follow the movie’s plot and being disappointed when they didn’t.

I first read this series in my reading rut when I was eleven. My mom, irritated by my moaning about not having anything to read and yet not actively doing anything to try and fix it, gave me my little brother’s book and told me to read it and stop complaining.

Surprise surprise, I ended up liking it.

How this book starts is that Hiccup and all the kids in the village have to go out and “capture” a dragon. Basically, what capturing means is sneaking into a dragon nesting site and shove hibernating dragons into backpacks. Hiccup originally ends up with a Basic Brown dragon, but his best friend, Fishlegs, doesn’t manage to capture one. So he gives Fishlegs the dragon, runs back into the hibernation gave, and gets a new dragon.

That dragon turns out to be the tiniest dragon they have ever seen. Oh, and guess what? The dragon is also completely toothless. So he naturally names him Toothless. Toothless turns out to be a rude, completely untrainable dragon, and his small size causes Hiccup to be mocked.

This book is pretty much nothing like the movie, expect for the characters (for the most part) having the same names. So, if you’re looking for a book exactly like the movie, you’re reading the wrong thing.

This book, when I reread it, felt a bit young for me, and that doesn’t tend to happen even when I read MG. It’s filled with snot-jokes and lots of yelling and is very clearly aimed for those in the 9-11 age range.

But, the book is also extremely entertaining, and is also filled with this little scribbly sketches drawn by Hiccup. This are also marvelously entertaining, and you can very clearly tell what he thinks about each character judging by how he draws them.

All and all, this is a book that feels slightly immature if you’re past the age of eleven or so, but it’s still entertaining, and I recommend it to the various middle schoolers in your life.

FourStarsSo, it really annoys me the people that give this book a low rating because it wasn’t like the movie. IT MAKES ME QUIVER WITH RAGE, IT DOES. Not that I didn’t like the movie, but still.

And remember how I said I went to a Doctor Who party for the premier on Saturday? The party was fun! We watched Doctor Who and talked about Doctor Who and I also played some insanely complicated board game that involved Daleks and armies. I think it was called Risk. The premier was good, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s one of those weird parallel universe episodes.

And, Doctor Who has given me yet another somewhat stupid fear (the others include crying angel statues, someone saying “it’s a long story”, brainfreezes, shadows, snowmen, not remembering why you walked into a room/did something/ect). Muddy ground. Because handmines are horrifying. THANKS, BBC.

Happy Monday,

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4 thoughts on “How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell ||Yell at it

  1. Yes, I was a little surprised that the movie was sooooo different from the book but they both have their own qualities I really like! I might actually like the movie better than the book though…

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