Book Review & Resources

I'm constantly looking for novels that will not only interest my middle school students, but my 5th grader, as well.  After reading The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading, I knew immediately that this would be a great fit for both my students and my son.  It's a fantasy that's aimed towards ages 8-12; however, I can see both older and younger kids enjoying this book.  The book is also the first in a series, and now we can't wait to see what the next one holds!

Synopsis of book from the publisher:
The Dragon Of The Month Club, by Iain Reading, is the exciting first installment in a new middle-grade (ages 8-12) fantasy book series that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club - The Dragon of the Month Club.

On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons - not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.

But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler's messy bedroom. Travelling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.

Drawing inspiration from some of literature's most memorable stories - from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes's London - the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.

This book is a great way to delve into an exciting adventure that the two main characters share, as they experience the different settings brought about as they travel from one "book-inspired world to the next."  Kids AND adults of all ages are sure to love escaping into this story.  

As we read the book, my students completed these digital and printable before, during, and after reading task cards that address the following:  main idea, setting, main and minor characters, compare & contrast, point of view, summarization, predictions, author's purpose, mood, and more.  It served as a great way to monitor students' understanding of the book.

For more info and to read an excerpt from the book, go to:

What fantasy books have you read w/ your students or children?  Fill me in in the comments below.  I'd love to have a running list to add to what I have for my students.

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