Name of Book: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher
Author: Bruce Coville
Audience: Ages 8 – 12
Summary: While dodging some friends, Jeremy spots a shop he has never seen before. He sees a shining, multicolored ball that, to his surprise, the owner sells to him for 25 cents stating that “It” wants him. He takes it home and follows the odd instructions and finds that it is not a ball but a dragon’s egg. When the dragon hatches he has several problems. First, no one but Jeremy can see it. Second it eats eats and eats and eats. As the dragon grows, Jeremy learns that this world is not safe for dragons. Dragons are only hatched here, but must go back to their world when they are grown. He knows he should take his dragon to the other world but he loves her and does not want to part with her. Finally he accepts that he must do what is best for his dragon, not what is best for him. He must take her to the land of the dragons.
Literary elements at work in the story: The characters are well drawn and believable. It has all the elements needed to appeal to all readers, especially boys. It is plot driven, fast paced and who wouldn’t want to hatch a dragon egg!
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: This story could take place in any town. What does make a difference is the careful care Coville takes to make the characters believable. The actions and reactions are typical of the children’s ages.
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Theology: Joseph had a difficult decision to make. Here he was engaged to a woman who was pregnant. Custom told him he did not have to honor the engagement. However, Joseph did what perhaps was a hard thing for him to do. He swallowed his pride and embarrassment and married Mary. The angel told him he had to do what was right for God, not Joseph. Jeremy had a similar decision to make. He had to do what was right for his dragon, not what was right for Jeremy. The dedication for this book reads: “For Jane. Believing in dragons is easy. Jane believes in people—an act of love that takes considerably more imagination.” God has that kind of imagination. When the world could only imagine dragons, he gave us Christ—truly an act of love that takes considerably more imagination.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Have you ever found yourself in a position where you had to do what was right for someone else at your expense?
- How did you handle it?
- What if God told you to do something hard like God told Joseph? How would you make your decision?
- What about the dedication? Do you think it is easier to believe in a “thing” than to believe in people?
- Can you think of another story from the Bible that shows us God’s imagination?
- How can we use our imaginations to show God’s love?
This review written by regular contributor Janet Lloyd.