12 Dragon Stories for Adventurers of All Ages


My original plan was to highlight six books featuring dragons. Six turned into nine when I remembered a few dragon picture books we love. This book is by no means all-inclusive, but I finally cut myself off at an even dozen. Lest you worry this is still not enough reading, many of these books are just the first in a series. You could read nothing but the books (and corresponding series) on this list and still have books waiting to be read by this time next year. If you and yours are in the mood for dragons, here are twelve books I highly recommend: 

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri is everything you would hope from the title. Every time I read this book, I want tacos for dinner. (P.S. The sequel is set to release in May. Hurray!)

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light is a beautifully illustrated story about a boy looking all around the city for his pet dragon. It’s light on text but full of interesting details, so I can make the reading as short or as long as the attention span of whichever child is sitting on my lap.

How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet clearly belongs on the list because I can’t stop talking about Bill Peet. If you’ve been wanting to read more of his books, this is a great choice. It’s one of the titles that’s back in print, so it’s relatively easy to find.

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede is a delightful twist on the dragon-stealing-princess tradition. In this case, the princess runs away to find a dragon because she’s bored of sitting around the castle and waiting.

The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien is the classic dragon adventure. Many of the ideas we have in Western literature about dragons and their proclivities come from The Hobbit. I still haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve been loving reading it again with my son.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherine Valente blew me away. Plenty of readers I trust found it slow and a tad convoluted, but I loved it. A-through-L is technically a wyvern (whose father might also have been a library? It just works somehow.), but I’m counting it.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini is one of two books on this list I haven’t read. My sister is just the latest person to suggest I read it, however, so I’m hoping this will give me the push I need. Every book in the series has a dragon right on the cover, though, so I’m very confident it fits the bill.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is the other book on this list I can’t wait to read. Seraphina is half dragon and must walk a fine line of diplomacy when the treaty between humans and dragons is strained to its breaking point. The premise is interesting, but the recommendations I keep hearing talk about the fantastic writing as well.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. I will stop talking about Temeraire when I find a series I love more. If you’ve missed all my previous enthusiasm for the series, this one is Napoleonic wars + British naval turned aerial officer + a quick-witted and endearing dragon. I love how Novik manipulated traditional dragon qualities (hoarding treasure, for example) and created an entire world of dragon societies and customs. Highly recommended.

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey is the first in the decades-long Dragonriders of Pern series. The whole series is a long-standing classic in the science fiction and fantasy world. If you need a 20+ book series in your life right now, start here!

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, like all Discworld books, is both hilarious and action-packed. The City Watch is called in to restore order after a marauding dragon sets itself up as king of Ankh-Morpork. I’ve consumed most of my Discworld books on audio and this one is another great audiobook, as long as you listen somewhere you can laugh.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho was just the right book at just the right time for me last year. It has such an interesting spin on wizard’s familiars, including a few very imposing dragons. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

After all that, did I miss any of your favorite dragon tales? I’m going to need something to read once I finish Eragon and Seraphina!


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