Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book review: The Dragon's tooth

The Dragon’s tooth, by N. D. Wilson, is written for children aged 8 and up and it’s the first book in his latest series, Ashtown Burials. 

Although written as a children’s book, it’s a fun read if you like action. If you have a boy between grades 5 – 9 who is a reluctant reader, this might be the ticket. The plot moves like a rocket and Wilson is masterful at creating mythical creatures and machines. The suggested reading age is Grade 3 and up but I’d urge caution with younger readers. There are a lot of guns, deaths and near misses. I’d wait till late primary before handing over this level of suspense but it depends on the kid.
The main character is Cyrus who lives in a broken-down motel with his older brother Daniel and sister Antigone.  The Archer motel, well past its prime and doing very little business, is the last thing they have left after the deaths of their parents.  As the book begins, a mysterious visitor arrives at the motel bringing with him mayhem and danger.  Cyrus and Antigone are forced to run for their lives and Daniel disappears.  They discover their family’s history is very different from what it has appeared to be and so begins their battle against the evil forces that threaten to destroy them all.  Think Harry Potter meets Dr Who.

Here’s the trailer:

We found it at our local library and then suggested our school library order it in which they did.  Also available online obviously. If you end up enjoying it, there's an earlier unrelated series call the 100 cupboards. In that series is my current all-time-favourite mythical creature: the raggant.  But it's a slower read than The Dragon's tooth so if you are looking to pique the interest of a young reader, start with the Ashtown series.
By the way, N.D. Wilson is the son of Douglas Wilson (extensively involved in the classical Christian schools movement in the USA)  and the female members of his family blog over at femina girlsI enjoyed reading Wilson talk here about his writing style and how he sees the ordinary world as a magical place.

And just as an aside, since when have books had their own trailers on youtube?  It's a strange world, folks.

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