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Dragon Detective: School's Out!

Dragon Detective: School's Out!

Gareth P. Jones
Stripes Publishing
ISBN: 9781788951708

I really enjoyed the first of the Dragon Detective books and was sure it would be a firm favourite for many LKS2 readers; an amusing tale of the unlikely friendship of a young girl and a 1,266 year old red-backed, green bellied, urban-based Mountain Dragon called Dirk. So when the second book arrived I was a little apprehensive, far too often I find that early chapter books lack the story line impetus for a second or third book. That is certainly NOT the case with Dirk Dilly, Dragon detective and his young friend Holly Bigsby, I loved this book and would even go so far as to say it's better than the first!

This is a fast paced, action packed tale of this strange pair and their adventures as they attempt to keep the world safe from the claws of Mr G. and the Kinghorns. After their first super sleuth adventure together, Holly is desperate to see her friend and partner in crime once again. However, her parents have different priorities and have sent Holly away to an exclusive boarding school for children of the rich and famous. Holly is determined to escape from school, not worried in the slightest who she upsets in the process; she's not interested in making friends and is a regular visitor to the Headteacher's office, Holly's only focus is how to get out of school. Security is tight, supposedly to keep unwanted visitors out but Holly feels trapped; cameras, electric fences and personal wristbands are just a few of the challenges Holly needs to evade if she is ever to see her dragon detective friend again.

As I said at the start, I really enjoyed this story; short enough for a competent reader to fly through in a couple of sittings, yet delightfully packed full of fun and action to hold the attention of a newly independent reader also. I will most definitely be recommending this to my class. An absolutely riveting read for children (7-9 years) who enjoy a giggle with a mystery to solve along the way. I can't wait to see what Dilly and Holly have up their sleeves for their next case.

224 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher


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