Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human Smarter

25775880Yep, Laurence and Ryder, Joanne. A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human Smarter
March 15th 2016 by Crown Books for Young Readers
Copy received from Young Adult Books Central

In this sequel to A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, we find Winnie and her mother much better off. They are living in Miss Drake's house, and Winnie's mother has a job at a local stable. Even though their lot is improved, Winnie's grandfather Jarvis is trying to gain custody of Winnie by having his goons follow her. In order to learn more about magic, as well as to be kept safe from her grandfather, Winnie is enrolled in Spriggs Academy, a school for magicals. Since Miss Drake is a big benefactor of the school, Winnie should be welcomed with open arms, but the mean girls give her a hard time. Luckily, she meets Liri and Mabli, who take her under their wing and share their magic with her as much as they can. The school has field trips to Loch Ness, a massive Halloween party, and lots of fun activities, and soon Winnie feels like a part of the magical community.

Told from both Winnie and Miss Drake's perspective, this has a lot of charming details about the magic in Miss Drake's world. Famous people from the past (like Isaac Newton) show up as teachers at the academy, and the students learn all sorts of spells and potions. Vasalisa, the family cook, has a delightful Small Doll who comes to Winnie's aid at school-- but be careful, no chocolate is safe in the house when she's around! 

The San Francisco setting is fun as well, and Jarvis' spies add a level of tension to Winnie's experience. This book would be good for readers who really would like to pick up Harry Potter but are not yet strong enough readers, or for readers who want a less scary alternative to David Lubar's Monsterific Tales.

1 comment:

  1. I read this series to my kids. They liked it, but weren't crazy about it. I think a lot of the humor is over their heads because I liked it a lot.

    Dena @ Batch of Books