This series is one that my son’s school librarian recommended for him, which he and I both read.
Revenge of the Dragon Lady. Dragon Slayers’ Academy Book 2. by Kate McMullan.
This is the second in a series of early chapter books geared at boys. As you can tell from the title, it’s a school story with dragons. There’s also a lot of humor at the expense of teachers – the incompetent headmaster Mordred, as well as a professor who spits a lot and uses lots of spit-producing alliteration when he talks. In this particular story, Wiglaf, our gore-fearing would-be hero, learns that Seetha, the mother of the dragon he accidentally defeated in book one, is looking for revenge. Wiglaf defeated the last dragon by finding out its secret vulnerability: bad jokes – and now begins looking both for ways to look fiercer so the dragon will be scared off on sight, and of research to find out what Seetha’s weak spot might be. His attempts range from the silly to the serious, and include his asking advice from his wise pig, Daisy, who speaks to him in Pig Latin. The book in general has many instances of silly fake Latin meant for second-graders to be able to understand, from labeled diagrams of dragons to the school motto, “Goldius est goodies.”
I had mixed feelings about this book. On the plus side, it has lots of elements to appeal to early readers, especially boys. The chapters are short, exciting, and usually end with cliffhangers. There are entertaining bios of the major characters in the back, complete with pictures. There is both slapstick and gross-out humor, as well as relatable school dynamics. A strong plus is that the books held my son’s interest for two full books. On the negative side, even the short chapters seemed padded to me. I felt that so little was happening in each one that the whole thing might just as easily have been told as a picture book, with each chapter condensed down to one page spread and illustrations. Maybe all the repetition is put in on purpose to help beginning readers? It didn’t bother my son, though, who is actually the right target audience. I wouldn’t recommend this as great literature, but definitely, if you have a reader at the early chapter book level who’s interested in fantasy with boy appeal, this is a good choice.