Dragon Rider

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Dragon Rider Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Dragon tale is great for bedtime read-aloud.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 45 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

This story is really meant for entertainment, but on a stretch, you could find a subtle message about the encroachment of humans on nature.

Positive Role Models & Representations

One-dimensional characters, and a gentle approach that, while exciting, eschews violence. The villain is all bark and bad temper, most of the characters are helpful and kind.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is meant for fun, not literary discussion.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMamaJamie April 9, 2008

Fantastic adventure for all ages!

I read this book before my son read it, since my son is 7 and I was familiar with the author's other books(they're more for a little older set with so... Continue reading
Adult Written byTending Bloom April 9, 2008

A fun dagon adventure.

This is a long book but it keeps moving.
There is a lot that happens to this dragon and his riders.

I recommend it to anyone who would like to be a dragonride... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old June 6, 2014

Dragon Rider

Personally, I love this novel because of the magic it brings. Cornelia Funke is an experienced children's author who lives in Germany, and you can tell she... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 13, 2009


Lovely written, and has nice humor in it.
The book shows how humans can hurt animals(even dragons), and it might change how someone acts.

What's the story?

In a valley in Scotland the last of the silver dragons hide from the encroachment of humans. But now this last valley is being invaded too. Firedrake, a young dragon, sets out to find the legendary ancestral home of the dragons, the Rim of Heaven, high in the Himalayas, where dragons can be safe and undisturbed forever. Accompanying him are Sorrel, a crabby brownie, and eventually Ben, an orphan, and Twigleg, a homunculus who may be hiding a treacherous secret.

Following a map drawn by a rat, the trio trek across Europe and the Middle East, heading for India. But they are followed by the spies of Nettlebrand, an artificial golden dragon created to destroy all dragons, who also wants to know where the Rim of Heaven lies, so he can finish the task he was created for.

Is it any good?

This book is exciting but not too scary, humorous, with short chapters and plenty of cliffhangers. DRAGON RIDER was actually Cornelia Funke's first book in Germany, but it wasn't offered in English until after the success of her two other books. Despite its excessive length, it's aimed at a younger audience with a simple, straightforward plot, one-dimensional characters, and a gentle approach that, while exciting, eschews violence. The villain is all bark and bad temper, most of the characters are helpful and kind, and the ending is predictable, but satisfying.

It reads like a middle-grade novel -- well, all right, three middle-grade novels. Ambitious young readers will want to read this themselves, but it would be a great extended bedtime read-aloud.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about extinction caused by human encroachment.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

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