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Book Reviews, Early/Young Readers, Fantasy/Science Fiction, Read-Aloud Suggestions, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

MOONGOBBLE AND ME #1: THE DRAGON OF DOOM by Bruce Coville

The Dragon of Doom is the first in the Moongobble and Me series by Bruce Coville.  It is narrated by Edward, a young boy in medieval times who lives with his mother in the town of Pigbone-East-of-the-Mountains.  Edward finds Pigbone extremely boring and as the only other children in the town “are two older boys, who are kind of mean, and one new baby” he is often lonely as well.

There is an empty cottage that sits at the top of a hill behind his home.  Edward often climbs the hill and plays in the house.  So he is understandably upset when he realizes that someone else has moved into the cottage.  Intent on discovering his new neighbor’s identity, Edward spies on the cottage’s new occupants.  He gets the surprise of his life when he finds an old man performing magic and a talking toad.  They are Moongobble, who is training to be a Magician and his companion, Urk.

Moongobble has quite a bit of trouble with his spells, often mistakenly turning things (and occasionally himself) into cheese instead of his intended transformation.  Edward and Moongobble become friends so when Fazwad the Magician shows up and tells Moongobble he will not be admitted to the Society of Magicians unless he performs three Mighty Tasks Edward jumps at the chance to help.

Moongobble’s First Task is to retrieve the Golden Acorns of Alcoona which are guarded by the Dragon of Doom.  Edward, Moongobble, Urk and a fellow Pigbone citizen, the Rusty Knight–a kindly retired knight who is hard-of-hearing and wears his ancient rusted armor–set off to accomplish the First Task.

The entire book is a rollicking adventure abounding with kindness, friendship, humor, and a few thrilling cliffhangers at the ends of chapters!  My children and I found the book in a used book sale and we thoroughly enjoyed it as a bedtime story!  This is an excellent read-aloud at home or in the classroom for First through Fourth Grade.  We loved it so much we went out hunting for the rest of the series.  I have found five Moongobble and Me titles and I highly recommend them!

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