Book Review by Debbie Winkler
Jeremy is trying to escape some bullies when he stumbles across a shop he has never seen in his small hometown before. It is some kind of magic shop, but the items for sale are unlike any Jeremy has ever seen. A beautiful, colorful stone catches his eye and Jeremy persuades the shopkeeper to let him buy it. Special instructions come with Jeremy’s purchase – instructions that tell Jeremy how to raise a dragon from the egg! This stone couldn’t possible be a real dragon egg, could it?
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is the first book that I read in the Magic Shop Book series and it is still one of my favorites. There is something so magical about having a dragon in your life for a short while! The dragon, whom Jeremy names Tiamet, has a huge personality and gets Jeremy into quite a bit of mischief while he tries to take care of her and learn all he can about dragons. Jeremy does his best to keep Tiamet calm and quiet, but she can feel his emotions and definitely reacts when Jeremy has strong feelings about something! To make matters worse, no one else can see Tiamet but Mary Lou (Jeremy’s arch-nemesis, aka the girl who has a crush on him at school!) so everyone thinks that Jeremy is acting a little crazy! Tiamet accidentally destroys a dinner party, sets a teacher’s shoe on fire, and eats up all of Jeremy’s allowance in chicken livers and milk. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling as I read about Jeremy’s adventures while trying to take care of Tiamet and believe that all pet owners will find something to relate to as they both learn how to take care of the other! If you have ever dreamed of taking care of a dragon, you may be a little surprised to learn that it is a great deal more difficult than you think!
All of the Magic Shop Books have little morals to them, and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is no different. According to all appearances, Jeremy is an ordinary 12-year-old boy. He doesn’t have very many friends and some boys pick on him, but he gets by all right most of the time. His father is a veterinarian and runs his office out of the barn in the backyard. His mother is at work during the day and Jeremy is often left to his own devices. The only thing that makes Jeremy special is that he loves to draw and has a real talent for art. So it is especially frustrating for Jeremy that all of his school teachers like him – except for his art teacher. Why does his art teacher always pick on him? The other problem Jeremy is dealing with is what to do with Mary Lou, a fellow classmate who seems to have a crush on Jeremy. What is Jeremy supposed to do to get rid of her? These problems are normal and something that most 12-year-old boys deal with, but Jeremy is fortunate in that he gets an unexpected boost: a baby dragon. When Jeremy decides to hatch the dragon egg, his new pet teaches him more than he ever thought possible, and helps him come to terms with his new problems.
The Magic Shop Books are perfect for younger fantasy readers who want some magical adventures, but are not ready for something longer. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is one of the longer books in the series and is a quick, easy read for older readers, but an unexpected delight for readers who are first branching out from chapter books. There is something exciting that happens in every chapter and the story moves along at a rapid pace so children should not lose interest. This book is perfect for reluctant readers, especially boys!
This book contains scenes of teasing and bullying. Recommended for ages 7 and up.