A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kate McMullan's Dragon Slayers' Academy series is a collection of mediocre tales about kids at a medieval boarding school who hope to one day be knights in a good-vs.-evil world. The characters are well-crafted and the dialogue is snappy, but the stories just aren't very interesting. The plots seem sparse and drawn out, even for books targeting younger ages. Beginning readers might struggle with the vocabulary, especially reading the words from Wiglaf's pig, Daisy, who speaks pig Latin. Those who enjoy reading anything about life in medieval times will probably like these books, but they won't spark new interest in the subject.
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features a boy named Wiglaf, who goes to this school after being
told he is going to be a... Continue reading
What's the story?
In the DRAGON SLAYERS' ACADEMY series, kids hoping to be knights go to the academy for classes and practical training. Young student Wiglaf, who minstrels proclaimed to be a future hero, is queasy about blood, battles, and confrontation of any kind, and he feels like he'll never fulfill his destiny. Determined, studious Erica is certain she'll be heroic, but has to dress like a boy and go by the name Eric at teh academy because girls aren't allowed to train there. Miserly, conniving Mordred runs the academynwith an iron fist, but is more concerned with amassing more gold than turning out amazing knights. In adventures to caves and castles and unending quests with his classmates, Wiglaf tries to summon the courage to lead, overcome his fears, and intentionally slay a dragon himself.
Is it any good?
This isn't a series that parents will enjoy reading aloud, but kids into knights, dragons, and swordfighting will like seeing how the characters grow from book to book. Dragon Slayers' Academy is a solidly average bunch of knightly tales, with Wiglaf trying to lead and Erica trying to be someone she isn't and the legendary Lancelot making more than one appearance. There are funny twists to the widely known legend of Camelot and villains lurking in every shadow, but somehow the stories fall short.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Wiglaf reacts in situations that scare him at the Dragon Slayers' Academy. How does he face or not face his fears?
Erica has to hide the fact that she's a girl in order to be at the academy. Are there any places in today's world where girls or boys can't be themselves and still participate?
What other books have you read that have knights and dragons and battles?
- Author: Kate McMullan
- Illustrators: Bill Basso, Stephen Gilpin
- Genre: Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
- Publication date: May 12, 2003
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 7 - 10
- Number of pages: 112
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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