Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon Series


Story Line - How to Train Your Dragon is about a boy named Hiccup (he has a long name so we'll just stick to that) who is a viking and has a dragon named Toothless who has no teeth and never stops complaining. Hiccup is not from the typical viking material like everyone else but always does his best. He, his dragon, and best friends, Fishlegs and Camacazi, go on crazy adventures facing even crazier villains and have to save the day for the viking world.

Age Group - 12 and up.

Positive - The series is cute, tong-in-cheek, story telling. It also caries good messages of father's love no matter how wired or different their child is. The characters grow and learn something about themselves in the stories and have to face difficult odds. The face difficult situations which they master.

Negative - The characters believe in gods called Woden, Thor, and a place called Valhalla and sometimes they pray to them. The gods are also tong-in-cheek like Thor's day Thursday which is probably what Thursday is named after. The gods never make an appearance in the books the characters just believe in them. In book 5, Hiccup meets an old love of his mother's but I wasn't to fond of how in the end it made it sound like she still loved that man more than Hiccup's father. Hiccup's father, Stoik, is also portrayed as dumber than Hiccup (like most of the tribe) so he is always portrayed as doing the wrong thing (or the viking thing in certain circumstances) which might give kids the wrong impression. There is also some crass humor on occasion (Toothless pooping somewhere or Big Booby Bertha, Camacazi's mother). Hiccup's grandfather is a soothsayer (sees the future but really bad at it sometimes).

Finish - I enjoy the series even though it is meant for a younger age group than myself but I find it entertaining and silly and sweet. I could do without the gods they believe but if you want to think of the series as factual at all (which can be a stretch) they would have believed in them in about that time period I think. The books have excellent messages when his father and Hiccup don't see eye to eye but deep down Stoik loves Hiccup and would do anything to protect him. This series is also the inspiration for the film How to Train Your Dragon by Dreamworks.

Links - learn more about the books at http://www.howtotrainyourdragonbooks.com/.

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