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Book Club Kits: How to Train Your Dragon

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was an awesome sword-fighter, a dragon-whisperer and the greatest Viking Hero who ever lived. But it wasn't always like that.

In fact, in the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you'd ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet... It's time for Hiccup to learn how to be a Hero.

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever met someone you did not like at first but then liked them after you go to know them better?

  • Do you think dragons are real? (The Komodo dragon is an example of a “real” dragon)

  • What do you know about Vikings?

  • There are 4 Viking mythological references in the first several chapters of the book:

    • Woden (pg. 12)- Also known as Odin or Oden, Woden is the chief of the Viking gods, much like Zeus was the king of the Greek gods. Woden is known as the god of wisdom.

    • Valhalla (pg. 12)- Woden's massive hall for specially-chosen warriors who died on Earth during battle. In Valhalla means "hall of the slain", and the dead warriors in Valhalla practice all day fighting each other in preparation for the battle at the end of the universe, where they all expect to finally die for good (but put up a valiant fight in the process).

    • Loki (pg. 23)- he is kind of a half god/half giant who causes lots of troubles for the Viking gods and is very untrustworthy. The mask in the move "The Mask" is said to be from Loki.

    • Thor (pg. 27)- the god of thunder and warriors, Thor is highly respected by viking warriors, and he represents the best of Viking soldiers. He is known for his weapon, the hammer Mjollnir, which, when thrown at its target, returns magically to its owner like a boomerang. Mjöllnir also has the power to shoot lightning bolts.

  • 4 days of the week are named after Viking (Norse) gods. Tuesday is named after Tyr, the god of war, Wednesday is named after Woden, Thursday is named after Thor, and Friday is named after Frigga, the goddess of marriage (and Woden's wife).

  • Would you like to be the son or daughter of the chief, and thus the expected leader of your tribe? Why or why not?

  • Have you ever tried to train a pet? What do you know about training pets?

  • Do you think Hiccup should follow the advice of the book "How to Train Your Dragon" on pp. 53-58? What dragon training techniques would you recommend?

  • Have you ever had to deal with someone like Snotlout?

  • Do you think that exiling the young Vikings for not completing parts of their training is fair? If no, what would you do instead?

The How to Train Your Dragon Movie