How to Train Your Dragon, by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, translated from the Old Norse by Cressida Cowell, is of course, the book on which the recent movie of the same name is based. I've had this book in the house for a couple of years. I bought it thinking my son might like to read it, or have me read it to him, but I think he felt that it was too young for him. Now that he's seen the movie, maybe he'll change his mind.
Seeing the movie is what made me pull this book out again. I had read the first chapter or so when I bought it, and didn't remember the story starting the way the movie did. (No spoilers from me, except for the hard core folks who are thinking; Hey man, telling me they're different is a spoiler. If you're that, guy, this review isn't for you.) Anyway, I read through the whole thing, and you can see the parts that inspired the movie, but its pretty loose. I don't think you could even have an effective was-the-book-better-than-the-movie conversation, they are so disparate. That's not a bad thing. Your grandma, and my grandma may both make chicken soup, and the only ingredients they share may be the chicken, but both soups can still be good, right?
That's the case, here. I enjoyed both the book and the movie. Stories of a boy growing up, and trying to live up to the expectations of those around him, even if those expectations seem higher and grander than he could ever achieve. You know, even with dragons.
This book is obviously aimed at the younger end of the young adult market, but makes for a fun read. I think it would be perfect to read to a 8 or 9 year old, but maybe not in too a close proximity to the movie, as they are so different.