I was contacted this summer to read and review a book titled The Dragon of the Month Club, By Iain Reading. I should have gotten to this review a month ago, but aside from the stressful crisis mode our family was in with our son and his behaviors, I am using this opportunity to do something unique… 

Dragon of the Month
Getting settled in to crack open this book for the first time

Not only will you read a review by myself, but since this book is written with 8-12 year olds in mind my daughter will be reviewing The Dragon of the Month Club as well. I know that aside from autistic children, many parents have typical children as well. I felt that while parents will find a review by myself as helpful, reading an actual child’s thoughts is an invaluable resource.

My daughter is 9. She is full of energy, loves Legos, plays soccer, loves to write, sing, and dance. She is super smart and reads at a grade level above. She loves science and can tell me more about our solar system and galaxy than I know. She isn’t a girly girl. She loves dolls as well as Hot Wheels cars. I love how well-rounded and diverse she is in her interests. She is also very sensitive and compassionate. I say all this because if you have a kid like her, this review might be even more helpful. However, I think her review will be invaluable for any parent.

This book opens up describing a girl, Ayana, and her move to a new school. I was impressed how the Iain didn’t make Ayana’s family situation an average one. She comes from a broken family, where the dad just up and left. I feel that can resonate with a great deal of kids and help them relate and find Ayana’s character more relateable. And for children that don’t know that kind of life, it creates the opportunity for the parents to be able to talk about these types of situations, and more, with their kids and how they can be compassionate and empathetic.

Ayana is also bullied…badly. As someone who was severely bullied as a child, I really related with this and I think kids who deal with that situation will relate and also see that you can take your situation and find things to help you cope and thrive. Obviously, parents should step in and make sure their child finds or recognizes to choose safe and productive outlets.

The imaginative and magical world happens when Ayana and a new friend stumble upon a dusty old book in the far shadowy, almost forgotten, part of the library. The book turns out to be magical and interactive leading them on a adventure of creating a new dragon each month as the book gives them more and more recipes and the method on how to create a new type. This all happens after the book asked them to send applications to the club via their mailbox, and somehow, suddenly, the book changes to start filling the pages with that month’s particular dragon. It is full of mystery and imagination. And the ending does a great job at tying up the plot as well as leaving opportunity to continue the journey into other books. I hope it does. One day their conjuring of yet another dragon goes astray and they found themselves in worlds that resembled stories that were in Tyler’s books from his room. They have to use the dragons they made to get back home. I love how it weaves in other literary fiction, including my absolute favorite, Sherlock Holmes. I almost read the end of the book first just to see what it read like. The rest of the story is up to you to read. I obviously don’t want to spoil it 😉 .

I really enjoyed reading this book and I really recommend parents to read this as well. By themselves or even with your child based on their age and/or preference. I read it out loud with my daughter. It provided the opportunity to teach and talk about these very real (minus the dragon thing 🙂 ) life issues and how to deal with them or how best to help someone dealing with them.

 

My Daughter’s Review of The Dragon of the Month Club (typed by herself)

I think this story was great and is full of imagination and that Ayana was always confident about things that take a long time. The poems Ayana would write were sweet and loved to write them. The bullies threw her poems in the river, and she ran to the library and she found the book in the back of the library. She also met a boy named Tyler, and they became friends. There were lots of dragons , but my favorite was the water dragon. I was glad they got home. I recommend that other kids read this book. I think they will like it.

*****

Short but sweet. I know my daughter really enjoyed this book, The Dragon of the Month Club, and all the imagination it brings out and worlds it brings to the reader. It was an exciting book to read and I hope to read more of his works.

Sarah

As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.

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Sarah