Secrets of Droon Series

Book review by
Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media
Secrets of Droon Series Book Poster Image
Simple but inventive series great for first fantasy reading.

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Kids say

age 7+
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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Early-graders will be introduced to common elements of fantasy fiction, such as time travel, shape-shifting, wizardry, and magical objects.

Positive Messages

The Droon books emphasize friendship and loyalty. Eric, Neal, and Julie never walk away from a friend in trouble.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Of the three friends/protagonists in the series, Eric is the leader -- loyal, devoted, and protective. Galen, the wise old wizard of Droon, is occasionally forgetful, but is a devoted mentor to and protector of Droon's inhabitants.

Violence & Scariness

In Droon, powerful sorcerers like the big, bad Lord Sparr and Queen Salamandra cast spells and otherwise use their magic and minions for evil, but most of the scary stuff consists of darkness or flashing lights or frightening/ugly looking monsters. These books are age-appropriate for new chapter book readers.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that young fantasy lovers who are starting to read chapter books love the Secrets of Droon series. These compact, exciting, nicely illustrated novels follow a similar formula to Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House books, in which kid heroes find a magical pathway to another place and time. However, in the Droon books, the children travel to a fantasy world full of sorcerers, wizards, and magic. The Droon series includes suspenseful situations and scary bad guys, but there's no gore, and the magic rainbow staircase is as reliable as the Magic Tree House.

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What's the story?

Three friends -- Eric Hinkle, Neal Kroger, and Julie Rubin -- stumble upon a magic rainbow staircase in Eric's basement, and the stairs lead to a fantastical world called Droon. There, the youngsters encounter good wizards like Keeah, the princess of Droon, and evil sorcerers like the scary Lord Sparr, who wants to destroy Keeah and rule Droon. Eric and his mortal companions learn that they have a role to play in protecting Droon and their new friends, which leads them in and out of suspenseful, magical adventures and heroic deeds. The series consists of 44 books: a dozen original series volumes, and subsequent groupings of Special Edition installments.

 

Is it any good?

Tony Abbott's Droon series includes many elements of fantasy fiction that are super familiar to older kids and grown-ups, but to 7- and 8-year-old readers, these devices are fresh and inventive. These tidy, magical early chapter books make a terrific introduction to fantasy fiction for kids who love the genre but aren't old enough to read Tolkien or Harry Potter.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Droon series. Which part do you like best -- the original 12 books or the Special Edition books?

  • The Droon books follow a pattern similar to the Magic Tree House books. How are the series different, and how are they similar?

  • Would you like to travel to Droon? What would you do if you found a magical stairway in your house?

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