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How to Train Your Dragon by Hiccup…
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1,4581045,132 (3.85)114
This is the first book in the How to Train Your Dragon series. At this time there are nine books in this series with the most recent one being the ninth book in the series, How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword. This was a fun and heartfelt read; full of adventure and, of course, dragons.

I read this book with my 5 year old son and he enjoyed it immensely.

In this book we follow Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to capture and train a dragon in order pass his test to become part of the Harry Hooligan Tribe.

Hiccup is not your typical viking; he is not good at yelling or being scary...but he can speak Dragonese and he is good at strategy. When he ends up with a scrawny and uncooperative garden variety dragon Hiccup despairs of things ever going right.

This book is much much different from the movie. Hiccup has the same sarcastic sense of humor, but Toothless is pretty much an obnoxious brat. There is no riding of dragons; the baby dragons are too small for that. Hiccup isn’t an inventor of strange devices; but more of a strategist with spurts of bravery.

It is a very cute story though, even if it isn’t quite as dramatic as the movie. Watching Hiccup move from outcast, to a leader of sorts who is respected for his ideas and action is great and very well done.

This is a story about friendship and respecting people for their differences. Of course there is also a lot of action and a lot of humor throughout as well. Much of the humor is slapstick type but there is some witty banter in there as well.

There are some sketches throughout the book too; they aren’t all that great...basically scribbles. But these illustrations are funny and do add humor to the story.

Overall an excellent story. One of those ones that both kids and adults will find humor in. This would be a great series for kids five and up; either to read on their own or with their parents depending on age. Very different from the movie; so don’t go into this series expecting a replay of the movie. Recommended to children/YA who are into dragons and adventure and love some humor in there too. ( )
1 vote krau0098 | Aug 21, 2012 |
English (102)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (104)
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This was a fun read. Very different from the movie but still a totally amazing story. I was very happy to hear David Tennant doing the voices, he did a great job. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
This was a fun read. Very different from the movie but still a totally amazing story. I was very happy to hear David Tennant doing the voices, he did a great job. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
O read with her Dad and then watched the movie which other than character names are pretty much two different stories. But she enjoyed both. ( )
  maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
I never even knew their was a book until way after I watched the first two movies when my friend told me about them. Intrigued by this development, I proceeded to read the first book, and then devoured the next ten books. I instantly fell in love with the books. The books and movies are so vastly different that I simply view them as two entirely unrelated stories, and I find that personally I am perfectly happy with this. The books are absolutely wonderful. This first book was hysterical and exciting. The dragons are amazing. I have always wanted my own dragon (ever since reading Eragon) and this book made me view dragons in a different light. They are fascinating and amazingly heroic creatures that I feel every budding hero should have as a friend. Toothless brings out the best in Hiccup, starting him on his journey to become the greatest hero the Barbaric Archipelago has ever seen. ( )
  DrPedro | Oct 19, 2015 |
Playful, entertaining, clever, and wonderful. ( )
  MizPurplest | Sep 21, 2015 |
That was funny! Thanks to the recommendation from a co-worker. On to the second! ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Different plot and characters than the movie but still lots of fun! David Tennant is a great narrator though there were major volume range problems where I couldn't hear some parts and my ears were actually physically pained at others (downloaded from Audible). I loved this Toothless equally for completely different reasons ( )
  anyaejo | Aug 12, 2015 |
I saw the movie when it first came out, breaking my usual rule of reading the book first. It remains the only film I've seen in 3D and I really enjoyed it.
So when I needed a title for Chatterbooks and Becky said she had related activities already printed, I jumped at the chance to read the book.
I know there are always differences between formats, some for better, some for worse, but in this case the differences are vast. Even though it is a long time since I saw the movie, I can recall that there are fundamental differences in very basic elements of plot. I think it was this difference that made me somewhat disappointed in the book. It just wasn't what I remembered.
However, trying to think of it in isolation, it IS a good children's story. Lots of action and jeopardy and fun characters.
It will be interesting to see what the group makes of it. ( )
  Helen_Earl | Aug 6, 2015 |
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is not like other Vikings. He speaks to the dragons in their language: dragonese, he isn't very good at insulting, and he does't look like the other thugs in his tribe. When he goes to pick his dragon, he finds the smallest most common dragon, names him Toothless, and tries to train him to become a great hunting dragon.

This book, and series, is quite funny. It is a little crude, but most kids who love Diary of a Wimpy Kid would probably enjoy this series. It would be a good bridge to other books about dragons from DWK. ( )
  agrudzien | Jun 14, 2015 |
A thoroughly enjoyable read, simple fun, a great based to build from. Looking forward to reading the whole series. Will post a full review soon. ( )
  MathewBridle | May 4, 2015 |
The whole 'series' looks awfully darn cute.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This was so much fun to listen to! Think Hagar the Horrible meets Harry Potter and you get the gest of this first book in Cowell's delightful children's book series. Read by the incomparable David Tennant, I pretty much laughed, chuckled and snorted my way through this one. Who knew Vikings and Dragons would make such a comic team! Hiccup - son of the tribe's Viking chief - makes a wonderful child hero, along with his band of friends and terrorizers. Toothless, Hiccup's dragon, is quite the show stealer of this story, along with Hiccup's granddad, Wrinkles. Cowell has a wonderful imagination and a gift for humour. The serious adult reader that I am cannot wait to start listening to the next book in the series! ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 4, 2015 |
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is a skinny kid and not really expected to live up to his father Stoick the Vast's reputation as Viking chief of the Hooligan tribe, let alone his long name. From the very first page when he and his fellow initiates are sent into a dragon cave to get their dragons, you know that shenanigans will abound; what you don't know is exactly how hard Hiccup will have to work to become a Hero.

On the recommendation of several fellow LTers, I listened to the audio of this kid's story read by David Tennant. His hilarious narration was worth it, and I enjoyed every over-the-top and ridiculous adventure Hiccup and Toothless, and their friends and enemies. It's definitely a kid's story, lots of jokes that are the equivalent of fart jokes (even just the names of the characters are meant to get a laugh), and very different from the movie but every bit as enjoyable. I'm still puzzling over how Hiccup can be "the third" when his father's name is Stoick, but you know... whatever. Recommended. ( )
  bell7 | Mar 24, 2015 |
Personal Response: I thoroughly enjoyed this read, full of comedy, heroism, rooting for the underdog, and the believable science fiction dragons. There are parts that will make kids, boys especially, laugh out loud.

Curricular Connections: This would make a sensible study of book vs. movie, as I found them not only different in story, but different in feel. The social issue of brains vs. braun is presented lightly, and is a good conversation starter.
  LeslieRivver | Mar 14, 2015 |
This book is about a Viking boy named Hiccup III. Hiccup is not an ordinary boy, and he is the son of the chief. Everybody expects Hiccup to be the best but unfortunately he is called Hiccup the Useless and he is the worst. Then one day, he tries to become a real hero by passing the final test. But he gets everybody exiled from the tribe because his dragon almost killed all the dragons. So, it ended it to a big dragon fight. After that, he shouts at his dad about what kind of a dad he is! But then, the chief finds the biggest dragon ever. Everybody then finds out that Hiccup can speak to dragons, which is illegal. But, he ends up saving the day.
I like this adventured packed book because it about a person he shows everybody his strength and not his weaknesses.
I would rate this book 7 out of 10. ( )
  AB4Books | Jan 8, 2015 |
Very different from what I remember of the movie, but with many of the same qualities: charming, clever, inventive, and just a little gross (Viking and dragon excretions).

Hiccup is the son of the Viking Chief, but he isn't very heroic (as defined by Viking standards). He's small and unremarkable, and he obtains a small and unremarkable dragon - or rather, the dragon is remarkable for how extraordinarily how small it is...and how Toothless.

By modern standards, Hiccup would fare a bit better: he may not be big or strong, but he's smart and kind and brave. It turns out that Hiccup does get to be the hero, when the traditional strategy of "yell at it" does not work against the massive sea dragon that washes up on the Vikings' beach. ( )
  JennyArch | Jan 5, 2015 |
A Viking community has spent years training dragons without ever really understanding them. When the leader of the clan’s son, Hiccup, has to train his own dragon he gets a tiny one called Toothless. Though Hiccup has been bullied for years he discovers he has his own unique talents. The book is fun, but I actually liked the movie more. It has a completely different feel. In the book Toothless is pretty rude and uncooperative. I would highly recommend the audio version of this one though, because David Tennant does an incredible job bringing the characters to life. ( )
  bookworm12 | Oct 27, 2014 |
Read this to my mature five-year-old who was eager for "big kid" books featuring male protagonists and dragons. This fit the bill, but he is a sensitive kid, and I had to do a great many impromptu edits to shield him from some of the violence. There is a lot of talk of death and dying, which was one of the more disturbing bits. There is a lot of bullying of the hero, and it takes a long time for the hero to become heroic. That weighed heavily on my kid, who couldn't stand all the meanness. The book wasn't the fantasy/fairy tale sort of read we were hoping for, but just some silliness mixed with meanness and violence. Lesson learned: recommendations, reading choice chapters, and skimming is not enough to determine appropriateness! This book is really intended for a much more mature audience (I hope), and even then, is fluff with questionable messages. (Try My Father's Dragon instead; perfect for this age.) ( )
  eslee | Oct 17, 2014 |
This book is about a boy called Hiccup and he is a viking. In this book he is going to go into a test with a small little dragon that he caught but another boy caught a much better dragon and and he might not get passed the test and if he doesn't pass the test he will not be a viking and he will be thrown out onto a island where he may not survive.But later a huge dragon appears on the shore of his home and he will have to defeat it.
The reason why i like this book is because it is really,really funny and it is hard to put that into a book. I also really liked this book because I really like dragons and this book is almost completely about dragons. ( )
  EmmaS91 | Oct 2, 2014 |
This book is about an 11 year old boy named Hiccup who lives in a viking society. Hiccup is weaker smaller and smarter than all the other viking boys and he is frequently teased/bullied for this as in viking society strength is worth far more than smarts. Hiccup is also a dragon whisperer as according to the book dragons existed in viking times. This abbility is also considered strange/useless as vikings would rather yell. All viking boys have to catch and train a young dragon to be there hunting companion. Hiccup finds a small common brown dragon that has no teeth. One day while Hiccup is training his dragon whom he has named Toothless, a giant sea dragon rises out of the ocean and threatens to take over the island. The tribe of vikings on Hiccup's island (called berk) assembles and the dragon gets bored and swims off.
I found this book interesting and much better than the movie. The fact that the character is strugling throught the series makes it very nice to see him finaly triumph in book 11/10. While the illustrations are crude and most of the jokes juvenile the plot is interesting and the writing very descriptive. ( )
  iand.b4 | Sep 9, 2014 |
This book is about a boy named hiccup who was not as strong as the other vikings in his village, but he was very smart and very crafty. He eventually gets a hold of a dragon which he named toothless, and he and toothless who were once practically outcast become the heroes of the village.

I like this book because it conveys a good message in that everyone has different strengths.

Have the kids watch the movie version and compare some differences, draw dragons, and tell the class some of their strengths.
  RaymondGraham | Jul 15, 2014 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Jun 24, 2014 |
I had seen the movie adaptation of How To Train Your Dragon before reading this book, but honestly after experiencing both of them I feel like I saw/read two entirely different stories. If you go into this book as a fan of the movie (or vice versa) don't expect a faithful adaptation. The only constants between both are really the names of people and places! Even the physical descriptions of Toothless, etc. are quite different.

I found this book much more humorous and enjoyable than the movie. The dialogue was much wittier and the story much cuter in many ways. It follows the son of the leader of the Hairy Hooligans, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, as he struggles through his training to become a full fledged member of his viking band. Part of his initiation is capturing and training a dragon, primarily to use as a hunting partner, and Hiccup has the most difficult time. Unlike the other vikings, he's thin and quick-witted and not able to do the physical feats that his peers are. He can't even get his dragon to obey him, even though he is one of the few known speakers of "Dragonese" -- the other vikings get their dragons to obey by yelling at them loudly!

I loved reading about the different varieties of dragons, and even though most of the book was silly, there was still a great coherent storyline with a lot of memorable characters and events, and the ending is actually very suspenseful and exciting. There were times when the humor was very juvenile and stretched a little thin, and a person can only handle so many snot-related jokes, but in general How To Train Your Dragon is clever and fun and I'm definitely going to be reading the rest of the series. ( )
1 vote vombatiformes | Apr 16, 2014 |
I first picked this book because I saw this movie and really enjoyed it. This book, however, is quite different from the movie, plot-wise. I really liked the book as well, even though it was much different than what I was expecting. One of my favorite things about the book was the design. The illustrations were placed very strategically, and the font changed with certain words often being bolded and capitalized. I really like the plot and think it is a very creative story, and one that I believe children would find very amusing. ( )
  L_Cochran | Mar 15, 2014 |
Poor tiny Hiccup, the scrawniest excuse for a viking there has ever been. Son of the chief Hiccup has some gianormous shoes to fill. After barely managing to capture a dragon, a rite of passage in a young vikings life to fail means banishment and exile, he set to training it. His one instruction? YELL AT IT! This proves less than useful since the dragon refuses to listen. During his final training exercise with his dragon Toothless a brawl breaks out and all the young vikings fail because they cant control their dragons. All are set to be exiled the next morning. Some time in the night a Mountain sized dragon washes up on their shores and threatens to eat them all. Only Hiccup has learned to speak dragonese and so only he can save the day.
  stacy3176 | Mar 15, 2014 |
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