How to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
As the son of a Viking chief, Hiccup should be able to pass the Dragon Initiation Programme with flying colours. Unfortunately for Hiccup his stubborn dragon Toothless has other ideas. But the arrival of the Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus offers the chance for Hiccup to shine. Can he defeat the dragon and save the Viking tribe from certain death?
The first in a series, this hilarious illustrated story is clever and silly in equal parts.
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Long ago, on the wild and windy isle of Berk, a smallish Viking with a longish name stood up to his ankles in snow.
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, the Hope and Heir to the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, had been feeling slightly sick ever since he woke up that morning.
Ten boys, including Hiccup, were hoping to become full members of the Tribe by passing the Dragon Initiation Programme. They were standing on a bleak little beach at the bleakest spot on the whole bleak island. A heavy snow was falling.
‘PAY ATTENTION!’ screamed Gobber the Belch, the soldier in charge of teaching Initiation.
‘This will be your first military operation, and Hiccup will be commanding the team.’
‘Oh, not Hic-cup,’ groaned Dogsbreath the Duhbrain and most of the other boys. ‘You can’t put Hiccup in charge, sir, he’s USELESS.’
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, the Hope and Heir to the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, wiped his nose miserably on his sleeve. He sank a little deeper into the snow.
‘ANYBODY would be better than Hiccup,’ sneered Snotface Snotlout. ‘Even Fishlegs would be better than Hiccup.’
Fishlegs had a squint that made him as blind as a jellyfish, and an allergy to reptiles.
‘SILENCE!’ roared Gobber the Belch. ‘The next boy to speak has limpets for lunch for the next THREE WEEKS!’
There was absolute silence immediately. Limpets are a bit like worms and a bit like snot and a lot less tasty than either.
‘Hiccup will be in charge and that is an order!’ screamed Gobber, who didn’t do noises quieter than screaming. He was a seven-foot giant with a mad glint in his one working eye and a beard like exploding fireworks. Despite the freezing cold he was wearing hairy shorts and a teeny weeny deerskin vest that showed off his lobster-red skin and bulging muscles. He was holding a flaming torch in one gigantic fist.
‘Hiccup will be leading you, although he is, admittedly, completely useless, because Hiccup is the son of the CHIEF, and that’s the way things go with us Vikings. Where do you think you are, the REPUBLIC OF ROME? Anyway, that is the least of your problems today. You are here to prove yourself as a Viking Hero. And it is an ancient tradition of the Hooligan Tribe that you should’ –
Gobber paused dramatically –
‘FIRST CATCH YOUR DRAGON!’
Ohhhhhh suffering scallops, thought Hiccup.
‘Our dragons are what set us apart!’ bellowed Gobber. ‘Lesser humans train hawks to hunt for them, horses to carry them. It is only the VIKING HEROES who dare to tame the wildest, most dangerous creatures on earth.’
Gobber spat solemnly into the snow. ‘There are three parts to the Dragon Initiation Test. The first and most dangerous part is a test of your courage and skill at burglary. If you wish to enter the Hairy Hooligan Tribe, you must first catch your dragon. And that is WHY,’ continued Gobber, at full volume, ‘I have brought you to this scenic spot. Take a look at Wild Dragon Cliff itself.’
The ten boys tipped their heads backwards.
The cliff loomed dizzyingly high above them, black and sinister. In summer you could barely even see the cliff as dragons of all shapes and sizes swarmed over it, snapping and biting and sending up a cacophony of noise that could be heard all over
But in winter the dragons were hibernating and the cliff fell silent, except for the ominous, low rumble of their snores. Hiccup could feel the vibrations through his sandals.
‘Now,’ said Gobber, ‘do you notice those four caves about halfway up the cliff, grouped roughly in the shape of a skull?’
The boys nodded.
‘Inside the cave that would be the right eye of the skull is the Dragon Nursery, where there are, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, three thousand young dragons having their last few weeks of winter sleep.’
‘OOOOOOOH,’ muttered the boys excitedly.
Hiccup swallowed hard. He happened to know considerably more about dragons than anybody else there. Ever since he was a small boy, he’d been fascinated by the creatures. He’d spent hour after long hour dragon-watching in secret. (Dragon-spotters were thought to be geeks and nerds, hence the need for secrecy.) And what Hiccup had learnt about dragons told him that walking into a cave with three thousand dragons in it was an act of madness.
No one else seemed too concerned, however.
‘In a few minutes I want you to take one of these baskets and start climbing the cliff,’ commanded Gobber the Belch. ‘Once you are at the cave entrance, you are on your own. I am too large to squeeze my way into the tunnels that lead to the Dragon Nursery. You will enter the cave QUIETLY– and that means you too, Wartihog, unless you want to become the first spring meal for three thousand hungry dragons, HA HA HA HA!’
Gobber laughed heartily at his little joke, then continued. ‘Dragons this size are normally fairly harmless to man, but in these numbers they will set upon you like piranhas. There’d be nothing left of even a fatso like you, Wartihog – just a pile of bones and your helmet. HA HA HA HA! So… you will walk QUIETLY through the cave and each boy will steal ONE sleeping dragon. Lift the dragon GENTLY from the rock and place it in your basket. Any questions so far?’
Nobody had any questions.
‘In the unlikely event that you DO wake the dragons – and you would have to be IDIOTICALLY STUPID to do so – run like thunder for the entrance to the cave. Dragons do not like cold weather and the snow will probably stop them in their tracks.’
Probably? thought Hiccup. Oh, well, that’s reassuring.
About the author
Cressida CowellCressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. The name of the island is a secret, but it was such a small island it wasn’t really big enough to have a name at all. There were no roads or shops...
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lovely book people, i love this book dudes. i hope you will too. this book can be for children aged 8 or over. my dad loves this!!
I thought this book was really funny, exciting and interesting. I liked the book more than the film, which I have watched since getting the book, and I thought the film should have been more like the book. My favourite character was Toothless because he was so funny as he didn't do anything Hiccup wanted him to do but he turn out a hero in the end. I am so pleased I chose this book to be my Booked up book. IT WAS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How To Train Your Dragon is an exceedingly brilliant book that I recommend to people that like adventure stories with a bit of myth and legend thrown in. How To Train Your Dragon is about a boy called Hiccup who chooses a dragon called Toothless and trains it to catch fish. Cressida Cowell has written an extremely exciting book that is propably one of the best books I have ever read and I will be able to read it over and over again and will not get bored of it.
This book was amazing I especially liked the picture and the words I liked the part when the man lost his clothes also the part were they chose their dragons.
the book is about a little boy the chief's son there are ten boys that have to pass the initiation test and its alot of trouble for them
It was a good book as I actually finished it before I got too bored.
this book is the best for people who love adventure fantasies and for people who love dragons and it makes sense
i like this book because the story is good because hiccup has a challenge to train his dragon to be the best dragon out of all of them
I like the book because it had lots of action in it and lots of dragons fighting in it.
I thought that this book was really good! The film was great too. My fave character is hiccup because he's a really funny character!!! I think that this book really brings out the child in you!!!! Cressida Cowell really thought this book through she isn't my fave author but she is deffo my second!!!!
The book was quite good it can really make people feal like its actually happening. I do think that it is better for readers with wider imaginations ( like me). This book is set in the viking times from a boy called hiccup who finds a pet dragon and, well I'm not going to tell you , I am going to let you find out for yourself !!!!
I love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book is a really fun read for all ages. It tells the story of Hiccup, the Viking Chief's son. It's just a shame the film is so different from the series. All the books in the series are really good though.
I thought this book was really really good. It's a shame they made the film so different.
I like this book because it is a really funny book and I would prefer this book to the other books because it is an interesting book and words in it.
This book is amazing I will like to read more of these books the characters looked funny there is some weird names what made me laugh such as snotlout the book is good!
I enjoyed it and so did my friends Bruce, Barbra, Aron and Harvy
I recommend this book because it is really cool and funny
I like this book because it is really a good book to read and an exciting book.
Hi I've read all the books in this series and T think that they are all fab I'm asking for the new How To Train Your Dragon book for Christmas and I hope to get it!!!!!! thanx beth xxx
How To Train Your Dragon is by far the best book I have ever read. This book also encourages you to let your imagination run wild. Also you feel as if you are right next to Hiccup but there are many questions to be untold and I highly recommend this book and it's suitable for all ages.
this book was one of the best books I have ever read because as soon as I started to read it I couldn't put it down because I immediatley got sucked into the world of dragons, vikings and even bigger dragons I highly recomend this book to anyone who likes a good plot and lots of very funny bits in too so that is all I have to say and thank you for reading this review goodbye:).
This book I thoroughly enjoyed because it has lots of drama where you don't know whats going to happen next so you want to keep reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone if you are a big fan of dragons.It is an outstanding book.If you are thinking about getting this book then...GET IT!
I chose this book because I like a good adventure story just like Harry Potter. It is about a kid that is that is the son of the hooligan tribe and he has to successfully complete the dragon initiation programme ! You should expect humour and excitement from this epic novel. If you're looking for something else to read I suggest Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
I loved this book as it also has collections of cards that have cards of dragons that tell you facts about the dragons that hiccup was against. Its an intruiging book and I recommend it.I love this book as its very adventurous and humorous. I loved it and recommend it to all ages. Its definitely a 5 star book and everyone should at least read it once it amazing!!!
How to train your dragon is a fantastic book! It is funny and fascinating! I do recommend this book to everyone!
There is a charecter called Gobber the belch and they are put in to loads of tests. Like to get a dragon in a basket . Then something will go wrong. I liked it when Gobber announced what challenge they were going to do. Some were very odd. I also liked it when a fact sheet came up about dragons. I did not like it when the dragon spoke because it was in a differant font and it was very hard to read.
i watched it at cinema i like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book is fascinating and fun. Hiccup, a unlucky guy to an world's No.1 Viking Hero. Toothless is my favourite. I would recommend this book to kids, 8-12. If you look at this books cover, this is how a true Viking would write and have as a normal day-to-day diary. This a thrilling book
An excellent book, recommend it to everyone. It is so good that I have got the next book and have finished reading that in 1 day!
I would like to thank the people who are doing this I love the book and I hope you keep doing this.
Thank you for my book. I am really looking forward to getting started. I really think you should carry out this as it encourages children to read. THANK YOU!
The best book I have ever read I was so into it I could put it down until I finished it.I loved it so much I bought the next book of it.
thank you for giving us these books, my book is great
I first read this book last year and I loved it! I was ecstatic when the film came out and I think even though the film and book are alike in someways both versions are great
I think that How to Train Your Dragon is funny and amazing, this book is so good you could read it to any one.
This book is funny and interesting.
How to Train Your Dragon is an adventure story and funny with cool funky collecter cards at the back. A person that would like this if you like adventure stories and you don't have to like dragons to like this book. I think this book is for around 5+. You should read it and if you like it you could get the rest of them. I have number one and nine so I have eight collecter cards because there is four collecter cards in each books.
Just finished reading 'How to Train Your Dragon' by Cressida Cowell, thank god for that. It wasn't a bit like the film. Very boring. More of a boy's book then a girl's, very little action, won't be reading the sequel if there is one!!!!!!!
I think this book has a very good star quality and you should read it
I haven't read all of the book yet but it is a really wacky book, it is action packed and it has a lot of fun in it, I recommend this for people who like magical, medieval and fantasy...
I have now seen the movie and read the book, and the storylines aren't very similar. For instance, in the book the vikings keep dragons as pets to assist them. In the movie, the vikings think of dragons as pests until the end of the movie. Even so, the book is very good and I enjoyed reading it.
I thought how to train your dragon was an excellent book. I really enjoy the initiation test in the book. I also liked the personality of Hiccup's dragon, Toothless. I hope every peson who reads this book will enjoy it as much as i do.
I think this is a very good book and I have relly enjoyed reading it I would recommend it to everyone.
I choose this book cause I have seen the film and apparently the book is good. I really enjoyed reading the book and now I am reading the whole series. I would definitely recommend this book to people.
I would recommend this book to the new year 7s that will be coming to their new schools because it is funny,easy to read and the story line is very good. There is a boy called Hiccup and he is the son of a chief of a village. They have pets but they are not dogs or cats, they are dragons. There are all different types of them .
I think that this is a really good book and I will soon be reading the next books as the first was so good and fun.
I think "How To Train Your Dragon" is a great book, it's exciting & I coudn't put it down.
I have finished the book now. It was great, there is not much more I can say about it however I can tell you to buy the other 8 books. Hint hint the book is hardly anything like the film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it is wicked
Very cool book but is more like a little kids book
I very enjoy this book it was funny but I have finish this book but thank you it was so good.
A very thought out book with great pictures and word used
fun to read and its very interesting
How to train your dragon is a really good book. There is even top trump cards at the back of the book!! Brilliant book
This book is so good I can't stop reading it and I don't like reading. I recommend this book to a friend and I am loving how to train a dragon!!!
Really good book
The book is really good and very funny.
This book great and is adventerous, hilarious and of course dragony. I would recommend this book to 8 to 14 year olds because its funny as well as detailed
How to train a dragon is a great book, made for any ages. Cressida Cowell is the best author in the world, making this amazing story. I feel sorry for Hiccup and his dragon Toothless because the other bigger vikings are mean to poor Hiccup and Toothless!! Its not the same as the film but I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Great book! I would recommend it for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it 17 times!
great book, i recommend it to dragon science fiction lovers!
The book was fascinating and I learnt from it that you don't have to have the best things to be a hero.
I thought How to Train Your Dragon is an ok book but I found it too boring. This game is boring at the start so I knew it was going to be boring but it was kind of funny.
this is a great book. It is very exciting i would say anyone can read it I have read 65 pages so far and it is great. recomend it to anyone. hint hint the 65 pages I have read is nothing like the film read it and add your opinions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This book is brill and everyone should read it.
This book is really funny and good fun to read. I like the bit about how Toothless grew his first tooth. Fireworm is really frightning
so cool, must read
love the film, love the book!!!!!!! !
So good I cried.
I watched the film, love it, good book
OMG my fav book ever. I love this book.
Oh my god, I love this book. I even watched the movie when it first came out. Readers who haven't yet read this book, I consider you to read it, it is filled with lots of imagination. I think this is my fav book and movie.
Very good and an exciting read
This book is funny and HILARIOUS, you really want to turn the page and find out what happens next. It's a REALLY FUNNY BOOK. You get drawn into it. Did I mention it is funny?!!!
This book is quite good, but there are better books
It is a fun and humorous story
I think this is a good book for people who like mystery & adventure.
This book is amazing, read it
This book is really good, it has humour and and excitement in it, I really enjoyed it
funny, read it when i was younger, very good but could be better so 4/5
Read the blurb it sounds so great.
AMAZING!!!! AMAZING!!!! AMAZING!!!! This is my star rating *************************!!!!! THIS BOOK IS SAFE!
This book is interesting in every way, shape and form. It is about a young boy named Hiccup as he finds himself training a dragon; I definitely recommend to anybody over 9 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's a great book, I have never read it but I have read extracts and all my friends love it
This is a very good book and you should read it because it is AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is really funny 'n' it has lots of pics in it
Very funny book and very crazy and wonderful, one of a series of six books
Hiccup and Toothless' adventures are awesome.
This book is fabulous. I remember when How to Train Your Dragon was on tv, it was epic and I think the book is even better also the playing cards in the back are so cool 5 star
Haven't read it but am going to read it, it sounds amazing
great book I've read it 21 times it's great
I've read this book countless times... ...3... I think...
A hilarious book I recommend this book for 7+ it is so funny!!!!!
I read the book but I want this because ......I like the pictures on the side
This book is fantastic and i laughed at like every page it was completely AMAZING! You have to read it or you're missing out big time!