Scholastic, Inc., 2014. 978-0545646239
Synopsis: Drake never thought dragons were real. Turns out, they are, it’s just a big secret. But the even bigger secret is that Drake is a Dragon Master, meaning he can train a dragon to do important work for the king. It’s so exciting, but after meeting the other three Dragon Masters, Drake wonders if he has what it takes to be a Dragon Master.
Why I picked it up: I have friends whose children aren’t quite ready for longer chapter books and this series seemed like the perfect transition from picture books.
Why I finished it: The book has a fun, fast-paced plot that mixes text with pictures to help readers engage in the story and aids in comprehension. Drake is a pretty ordinary kid, just working at his family’s onion farm when his life changes forever. He’s taken to the castle where there are other kids his age also learning to train dragons, and he can eat a lot of nice food, and he’s being taught by an actual wizard. For the first time, Drake feels like he’s special and important, but he’s also worried he won’t be able to do what the other Dragon Masters are able to do with their dragons. Readers will like Drake because he’s very much like them. We’re all hoping that we can be whisked off on an adventure, we’re all hoping that we will be able to discover our own special talents. Growing up can be a hard, weird, and sort of strange adventure, and characters like Drake help us remember that we’re not alone in the journey. The illustrations in the book are a wonderful mix of fantastic and whimsical, giving the reader a better picture – literally – of Drake’s world and the characters that inhabit it. It’s a cute series that helps readers branch out and discover the greater world of literature.
Other related materials: Dragon Masters, Book 2: Saving the Sun Dragon by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells; Dragon Masters, Book 3: Secret of the Water Dragon by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells; Dragon Masters, Book 4: Power of the Fire Dragon by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells; How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell; Dragon Slayers Academy books by Kate McMullan, illustrated by Bill Basso and Stephen Gilpin; Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke; Eerie Elementary series by Jack Chalbert, illustrated by Sam Ricks; The Kingdom of Wrenly books by Jordan Quinn, illustrated by Robert McPhillips; Gameknight999: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure series by Mark Cheverton