Please welcome my guest reviewer, my 11-year-old son, Peter!
Peter recently had the opportunity to read and review (affiliate link) The Dragon of the Month Club, the first book in a brand new series by Iain Reading aimed at kids ages 8-12.
Here are his thoughts on the book:
Two kids, Ayana and Tyler, find a book that lets them summon dragons made out of different materials, but one of the summonings goes horribly wrong, and they end up getting sucked into a world of fiction that is based upon all of the books that are in Tyler’s bedroom. During the story, they meet various fictional characters such as Sherlock Holmes and an evil guy from a German fairy tale.
3 out of 5 smileys
I really like the first few chapters, because they are funny and the author does a good job of introducing the two main characters, Ayana and Tyler. There were some nice flashbacks that helped the Ayana character become more 3-dimensional in my mind, but Tyler didn’t have nearly as much development, and I think he was considerably flatter.
I like the concept of being able to summon dragons through some intricate hand motions and a pile of tree branches, but the dragons as characters were kind of flat and personality-less. Sometimes they summon dragons to get them out of tricky situations and sometimes they summon dragons to have more dragons. It’s not actually clear why they need to have a huge collection of dragons following them around.
It was fun to read and I liked how they got to meet Sherlock Holmes. I think that the Sherlock Holmes in this book was nicer than the Sherlock Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, but I liked this story anyway.
Originally, when they got sucked into the fiction world I was thinking to myself, “Well this is kind of interesting, but I hope that they return to the real world soon so they can get back to the main action.”
About halfway through the book, when I realized this was all there was, I was slightly disappointed.
There were a number of typographical and editing errors, for instance:
“Ayana!!! Are you crazy?!? The tailor is coming as Ayana unexpectedly grabbed his backpack and ran down Mongo’s!!” Tyler shrieked. (page 79)
Huh? Obviously this was supposed to be two sentences, but somehow they got spliced together, either during the writing process, or the editing process. This was the worst mistake I found. Most of the other errors were cases of missing words or letters. The errors were slightly distracting, I recommend that the author go back over and correct them.
I enjoyed The Dragon of the Month Club, but it had a few problems.
Does this book sound like it might interest your child? You can read a sample or purchase (affiliate link) The Dragon of the Month Club as a paperback or ebook from Amazon.
Have you read any great books for kids ages 9-12 lately? Please share them in the comments!
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