Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Dragon's Guide #2: A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder

A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human Smarter (A Dragon's Guide, #2)My name is Miss Drake, and Winnie, my pet human, has started school at Sprigg's Academy, a school for magics and mortals. I've been secretly watching to make sure her temper doesn't get her into trouble again, especially with Nanette's attempts to bully her. She seems to be adjusting well, although I should have spent more time over the summer teaching her about magical history. Unfortunately, Winnie's mother knows nothing about magic, and my shape-changing has kept her from discovering I'm a dragon. Our biggest problems are that Winnie's grandfather Jarvis is plotting to get custody of her, and the school is requiring Nanette and Winnie to spend every minute together. Winnie is a strong girl, but an Internet video may bring an end to our friendship.

Unfortunately, I did not read the first book before reading this one. The story is told from alternating points of view, but the author added a cute twist. Winnie and Miss Drake each believe the other is her pet, especially Miss Drake, although it's clear they're close friends. I found the mixture of magic and technology amusing. Miss Drake, the teachers, and other creatures performed spells, but Miss Drake still needed to check her texts and emails. An endearing character is Small Doll. This small doll cleaned the house every night, but no one ever saw it move or heard it speak. It especially loved sweets. Winnie carried it with her on her first day at the magical school, and Small Doll was able to foresee problems and turn the tables on would-be pranksters. Jarvis created the conflict in the plot, but he wasn't an active character. The threat of his behind-the-scenes actions was the big problem. For most young readers, the issues at school are probably most relatable. Winnie didn't want to stand out, and she wanted to make friends. Nanette didn't like her, but that was partly due to Winnie's innocent intentions. It wasn't Winnie's fault the teacher's liked her better than Nanette. Overall, this was a cute story that should be enjoyed by most young readers. 

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