Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dragon Love from Bruce Coville

I’ve always had a soft spot for dragons. I wanted one as a pet for years. Not a cranky dragon like Smaug in THE HOBBIT, but one I could ride around the world while roasting marshmallows on its fire breath. Couple dragon love with my goal to read a novel by each faculty member of the SCBWI Summer Conference and you have my discovery of JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER by Bruce Coville.

My search for a zinger read aloud to open the 2011-2012 school year in my fifth grade class might just be over.

The first paragraph in “A Note from the Author” at the end of this wonderful story says it all.

“I desired dragons,” J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, and it seems he was not the only one. There is some powerful pull about these great creatures, something that sings to the imagination. – Bruce Coville

JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER has all the relatable ingredients to be a hit in my middle grade classroom:

Peer problems
Fantastical situations that you believe could really be true
School issues
Devotion to a pet
Resistance to romance
Increased responsibility
Getting around parental scrutiny
Personal growth and maturity
Heart, heart, and more heart

Best of all JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER is part of Bruce Coville’s MAGIC SHOP book series where kids grow through magical experiences emanating from Mr. Elives magic shop.

I know my new class will be enchanted with Jeremy and his dragon, Tiamat. I forsee a rush from my students to gobble up more stories in this series.

Thank you, Bruce Coville, for bringing your dragon magic into my life.

Do you “desire dragons?”


  1. I do desire dragons. I don't have any dragons in any of my stories, but some of my humans have their dragon-like moments.

    I saw Bruce Coville speak at an SCBWI conference once. He was very entertaining, lamenting that he wished he had thought of the elements in Harry Potter that made it so successful. I believe there was wailing and chest-pounding. ;)

  2. New follower here! My favorite children's book is "The Paper Bag Princess." I love it still to this day. The dragon made that book awesome. I'll have to check out Jeremy's book. I'm sure my eldest child would like it.

  3. Oh I'm not so big on dragons. But I am reading a novel about a fairy at the moment. ;)

  4. Awesome! I really like the Searching for Dragons series by Jane Yolen.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  5. YES! Unless it's Norbert. :D Yeah! He's wonderful, and such a great speaker, I can't wait for SCBWI LA!

  6. Kristen and Lisa - I am also out of my mind excited to hear B.C. speak at the SCBWI conference.

    Lisa - Ah, Norbert.

    Sarah and Emily - Thanks for more suggestions to add to my literary dragon collection.

    Thanks for the follow Emily. Welcome.

    Lee - Fairies fly and are magical! Works for me.

  7. I just discovered Bruce Coville books this year and I adore them all! My favorite in the Magic Shop series is Jennifer Murdley's Toad, but they're all fabulous. Love this post :)

  8. I love dragons. I love that they're mystical and dangerous and I would have loved to read dragon stories in fifth grade! I did do a project on dragons that year, and I got an A... but that's so not the same thing. :)

  9. I love dragons, too, but prefer the mean, nasty kind - what dragons were always meant to be in mythology. Arrrrr! After reading several novels with soft, fuzzy, purring dragons, I put a whole army of real fire breathing, city burning, flesh devouring dragons in my novel. In the meantime, Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher sounds like a good fit for my ten-year-old. Thanks!

  10. I have always appreciated dragons but I never thought of roasting marshmallows on their fiery breath. Great idea. :)

    My girls have enjoyed Bruce Coville's work, but I haven't read any of his work. I'll go add him to my TBR list. Have a great week.

  11. I just love the title of that book. So cute! I'm not a huge fan of dragons, but my 11 year old believes that if he wishes hard and often enough, he will in fact receive a dragon :D

  12. Awesome! I love Bruce Coville, and I've been looking for something to read with the kids. Problem solved.

  13. I may definitely need to put that book on my list!

  14. I've actually never been into dragons, but my daughter used to collect them. Stuffed, that is. What I'd really love to see is a thestral. Wait, scratch that. I do NOT want to see a thestral. :-(

    This books sounds great, Leslie. Thanks for introducing me to Bruce Coville!

  15. Isn't Covell fabulous? I read parts of one of his stories at a workshop I did, and a ten year old grabbed the book and asked if I would show him where to find it in the library.

    I did. I think I got the writer a new fan. Yay!

  16. I'm with Julie on the title. So cool!

    Of all the memories I have of fifth grade, it was my teacher reading to us that is the most vibrant. Lucky class to have you for a teacher!

  17. Jess - I'm glad to hear the whole series is enchanting. I can't wait to read it.

    Jennifer - I can't wait to introduce the book to my class. Hopefully we'll do a dragon project that they'll remember

    Laurisa - Your dragons are freaking me out. They'd burn my marshmallows.

    MIchelle - There is something about dragons...

    Julie - When you break the "dragon news" to you son also tell him not to wait for Peter Pan - that brat still hasn't shown up at my window.

    Crystal - Yay, I solved a problem.

    Lydia - You do. You do!

    Susan - Just say no to thestrals. BTW - They eat you out of house and home, but the babies are kinda cute.

    Lee - LOVE that story. There is something magical about helping a kid connect with a book.

    MIchelle - You are so sweet. I'm usually the "craziest" teacher they've ever had.

  18. I've always been intrigued by dragons, but I don't get enough of them, so I'd love to read this book.

  19. PS, Your Obi Wan comment on my blog the other day CRACKED ME UP.

  20. I don't love dragons, but my 9yo does! And I WANT this book for him!!!
    Seriously, sometimes I spend more money buying books for my 9yo than for me, lol.

  21. Medeia - Jeremy Thatcher is just the ticket for you.

    Glad I gave you a giggle, Michelle.

    Monica - I hear ya! My classroom bookshelves are filed with books I bought for my kids. Not to mention the boxes of picture books packed away in the garage.

  22. What a great find Leslie! I think your right your kids will love it, heck it sounds like I would as well!

  23. This sounds really, really good! I even love the title. Thanks for pointing it out! I know how crucial it is to find a good book to read to your class. My students always loved Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen and Holes by Louis Sachar, though they were a little older.

    Oh, and I loved your description of what you would do if you had a dragon. Sounds fun!

  24. Deana - JEREMY THATCHER really tugged at my heart.

    Caryn - What grade did you teach? My class loved HOLES as well.