Parents' Guide to

How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Book 1

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Engaging story is great for reluctant readers.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 10+

Fun series but beware of some grim topics

We just read the third book in the series, titled "How to be a pirate". I will agree with others that this is a fun read aloud and I like that the hero is the underdog. But with that said there are some grim topics such as cannibalism. Also there is a bit of name calling using words like idiot. and the characters both good and bad have somewhat lewd and irreverent names. There are some words/concepts I edit out as I am reading...there was some reference to a characters large boobs. There is some drinking in the "How to be a pirate" in celebration. These books always have a great twist and sense of humor. And aside from some of the course aspects listed above, I believe it delivers wholesome entertainment. edit 9/21/21: We just had to put down book 6. It just seems to be getting more and more grim with the addition for each book. I will be changing my age rating.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
3 people found this helpful.
age 9+

Wonderful book series for kids!

First off, you have to think of this book series as a completely different set of tales than the movies. The primary similarity is the character Hiccup and how he is portrayed as a scrawny kid with a pet dragon named Toothless who both live in a barbaric Viking archipelago. And oh yes, there are also lots of dragons! Fishlegs, Snotlout & Stoick characters are also similar to the movies and that is pretty much where the similarities end. Enjoy this book series as its own story and don't try to compare it to the movies or you'll be sorely disappointed. A friend tried to steer us away from the book series saying that the movies are much better but my nine-year-old daughter fell in love with the books in spite of the differences. In one summer, she read all 12 books that we checked out from the library and now she wants to own the series because she loves it so much. She enjoys re-reading them and she also enjoys listening to the audiobook versions, which are highly entertaining with a talented voice actor! My daughter suggests that if the readers are faint-hearted to stop reading at book 8. Book 9 introduces the dragon rebellion and it gets a lot scarier and bloodier. Definitely read the books in order, don't skip around.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (23 ):

Middle-grade boys, especially reluctant readers, are going to love this. Author Cressida Cowell has taken a character from one of her picture books, Hiccup, the Viking Who Was Seasick, and wrapped a novel around him. It's filled with humor both broad (characters have names such as Gobber the Belch and Snotface Snotlout) and snarky, with crude but amusing illustrations by the author.

Of course, humor of this sort is shooting fish in a barrel: All it really takes to get 8-year-old boys snorting milk out their noses is to say "poop" or "underpants." Fortunately, author Cowell also offers an appealing protagonist and a story that, though predictable, is entertaining and often exciting in a format that's clever yet easy to read.

Book Details

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