Dragon Rider

Common Sense Media says

Dragon tale is great for bedtime read-aloud.





What parents need to know

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

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
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

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

Parents say

Kids say

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?


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 -- exciting but not too scary, humorous, with short chapters, and plenty of cliffhangers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about extinction caused by human encroachment.

Book details

Author:Cornelia Funke
Illustrator:Cornelia Funke
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Publication date:October 31, 2004
Number of pages:523

This review of Dragon Rider was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byOv Fire And The Void August 11, 2009

Great Story

This is an amazing book and a must-read for any who love fantasy, adventure, and some comedy. I've always been interested in mythological creatures like Dragons, unicorns, etc., and I think it's great That Cornelia Funke wrote a book that starred dragons, but showed them in a different light than what they're normally given. Usually dragons are portrayed as vicious, treasure-hoarding monsters, but here, they were sentient, and actually gentle creatures. Thumbs up definately!
Teen, 15 years old Written byJerry.D October 29, 2009
i llike this book beacuse it was time for me to return back to class and i was in a hurry and that's when i saw it. i went home and remembered that i had gotten a book and started reading i couln't stop reading chapter by chapter,getting better and better. so i strongly recomend this book to kids who loved reading, i didn't like reading untill i read this book so mothers read to your daughter and sons and make them learn that there is a whole new world just by reading. thank you for your time and never stop reading
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byFreedomFromCens... July 9, 2009


I loved this book. A must have for Dragon-lovers like myself. *cuddles up with a dragon* =D
What other families should know
Great role models


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