Book review: A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter, by Laurence Yet and Joanne Ryder, illustrations by Mary Grandpre

Yep, Laurence and Joanne Ryder. A dragon’s guide to making your human smarter. Illustrations by Mary Grandpre. (Dragon’s guide series, book 2.) Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 294 pgs. $16.99. ISBN 9780385392327. Ages 10-14. P7Q8

Yep Dragons Guide HumansIn this sequel to A dragon’s guide to the care and feeding of humans, the adventures of Miss Drake, a three-thousand-year-old dragon, and Winnie, her pet human, continue, with each narrating alternating chapters.  Winnie and her mother, having inherited money and a sizeable house in San Francisco, should now be safe from her scheming grandfather Jarvis.  To ensure this, Miss Drake has enrolled Winnie in the prestigious Spriggs Academy, an all-girl school where both natural and magical students take lessons from Sir Isaac Newton and go on field trips to visit the Loch Ness monster, Nessie.  Winnie spends much of her time teaching Miss Drake about the current century, dealing with the mean girls at school, and keeping knowledge of the secret magical world from her mother.  While Winnie is otherwise occupied, Miss Drake works to waylay the thugs sent to kidnap her.  The multiple story threads combine gracefully, making this a welcome addition to magical school stories such as the Harry Potter and Hogwarts series or Diana Wynne Jones’ Chrestomanci series or her Witch Week and for slightly more advanced readers than Debbie Dadey’s  Bailey School Kids series or Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch series.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story despite not having read the first book in the series.  Highly recommended for school and public library collections.

June 2016 review by Jane Cothron.


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