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The Resource No such thing as dragons, Philip Reeve

No such thing as dragons, Philip Reeve

Label
No such thing as dragons
Title
No such thing as dragons
Statement of responsibility
Philip Reeve
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A young, mute boy who is apprenticed to a dragon-slayer suspects that the winged beasts do not exist, until he--and his master--learn the truth
Storyline
Writing style
Award
USBBY Outstanding International Book, 2011.
Review
  • Grades 4-7 As he did in Here Lies Arthur (2008), Reeve explores the cracks between life and lore in this short but not simplistic novel. Ansel, a mute boy, becomes the assistant to the dragon-hunter Brock, who travels the land looking for superstitious rubes to trick into believing he is the champion they need to rid them of their dragon scourge. Of course, as Brock confides in Ansel, dragons simply don’t exist, and his ruse is to return with an old crocodile skull as evidence of his heroic feats. So, when they run into a real, live dragon, things get awfully terrifying awfully fast. What emerges is a naturalistic viewpoint that dragons aren’t evil, fire-breathing maiden stealers but simply hungry creatures trying to survive, handily outfitted with vicious teeth and killer instincts. Most refreshing is the honest take on courage as something that’s left over when fear strips away everything else. Although this is a more thoughtful treatment than typical dragon fare, it still has all the excitement of a thrilling adventure story that readers will be expecting. -- Chipman, Ian (Reviewed 08-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 22, p51)
  • Gr 4 – 8 — Reeve explores a more "realistic" vision of classic dragon tales in his newest novel. Ansel is a mute boy who is callously sold by his father to be a servant to an itinerant dragon hunter who is happy to have someone who can keep his secrets safe. Brock truly has secrets, and before long he reveals to Ansel that dragons do not really exist, and that he is, in fact, a charlatan who preys on the fears of villagers. However, a book with this title surely has to contain a dragon, and inevitably, Ansel and Brock must face off against the real thing. There is some graphic description of horses and a human being devoured by the dragon. The creature itself is portrayed somewhat sympathetically, as Ansel realizes it is just an animal. The real story, however, is how in the course of this quest, the boy is able to find his voice, both literally and figuratively. This is certainly different from anything that Reeve has done previously, but is still shot through with his trademark imagination and feel for action. It will be eagerly devoured by young readers.—Tim Wadham, St. Louis County Library, MO --Tim Wadham (Reviewed September 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 9, p163)
  • In this somber but rewarding tale, a mute boy named Ansel is sold as a servant to Brock, an itinerant dragon-slayer. It turns out, however, that Brock is a charlatan, who travels the countryside looking for superstitious folk who believe they have a dragon problem. He then pretends, for an appropriate reward, to kill their dragon, showing them a crocodile skull as proof of his heroism. Ansel is relieved that there are no dragons, but bothered by the moral ambiguity of his position. Then, of course, the duo unexpectedly must confront a real dragon, "its head... a short, brutal blade, freckled with hard black scales, the spiny ridges over its eyes as rough as pinecones." With their lives in jeopardy, as well as that of a girl the terrified villagers have left as a sacrifice, the two try to defeat the monster. There's no real magic in this beautifully written, understated story, and the dragon may be nothing more than a pterosaur (presumably the last of its kind), but it's still a dangerous beast, and Reeve (Fever Crumb) describes their confrontation with grim economy. Ages 9–12. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 19, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 28, p)
  • Dragon-slaying is the perfect medieval con, until it turns out dragons aren't so imaginary after all. Ten-year-old Ansel, mute since his mother's death, has been sold off to Brock; Ansel's father wanted gold, and Brock wanted a servant who couldn't betray his scam (find a gullible village, ride into the hills, return with sheep guts draped over the crocodile head he secretly carries, collect reward, ride on, repeat). When they find an actual dragon in the snowy mountains, death seems certain; instead, new beginnings and hope (plus some new schemes) emerge. Reeve's humor may amuse the adults who might read this aloud more than the listeners (Brock's womanizing and an indulgence-selling defrocked priest whom the dragon eats are standouts), but the chills and Ansel's recognition of the dragon's piercing loneliness make for compelling, sometimes pulse-pounding action, and Ansel's growth provides a heart beneath the adventure. A gem, much like those rumored to rest in a dragon's hoard. (Fantasy. 9-12)(Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
365366
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Reeve, Philip
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
920L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
MG
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 8
Reading level
6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Dragons
  • Selective mutism
  • Apprentices
  • Dragons
  • Selective mutism
  • Apprentices
  • Fantasy
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
No such thing as dragons, Philip Reeve
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
800972
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
186 pages
Isbn
9780545222242
Lccn
2009047936
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780545222242
Label
No such thing as dragons, Philip Reeve
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
800972
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First American edition.
Extent
186 pages
Isbn
9780545222242
Lccn
2009047936
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
(Sirsi) i9780545222242

Library Locations

    • North Village BranchBorrow it
      2505 Steck Ave, Austin, TX, 78757, US
      30.362144 -97.7305032
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