Monday, September 25, 2017

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday – THE DRAGON WITH A CHOCOLATE HEART by Stephanie Burgis

This is one of the best middle grades I've read this year - a fun, fresh and delicious story with bold and lively characters.

Description from the publisher:

Aventurine is the fiercest, bravest kind of dragon, and she's ready to prove it to her family by leaving the safety of their mountain cave and capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when the human she captures tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she finds herself transformed into a puny human girl with tiny blunt teeth, no fire, and not one single claw. She's still the fiercest creature in these mountains though – and now she's found her true passion: chocolate! All she has to do is walk on two feet to the human city, find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she'll be conquering new territory in no time … won't she?

Wild and reckless young Aventurine will bring havoc to the human city – but what she doesn't expect is that she'll find real friendship there too, along with betrayal, deception, scrumptious chocolate and a startling new understanding of what it means to be a human (and a dragon).

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart was written by Stephanie Burgis and published by Bloomsbury in  in 2017.

Why you want to read this book… 

It was a genius idea to pair dragons and chocolate in the same book! I loved Adventurine’s fierceness and adventurous personality. It’s so entertaining to read about how she learned to adapt to the “human world” and I loved her determination to become a chocolatier apprentice. There are lots of funny moments in this story and I loved Adventurine’s friendship with the persuasive girl, Silke, as well as her developing relationship with her gruff new boss, Marina. And then there are the interesting details about making chocolate! For me, the best word to describe this story is “delightful.”

“Dragons could go for days without food when they needed to, and I didn’t like being treated as if I were weak. Still, as the scent drifted up from the glass in my hands, I lost the will to argue.”      

If you’re a writer… 

This is a good story to study to see how to create characters that feel alive and full of personality. I enjoyed all the details that showed her dragon’s eye view of the world the author created.

“Humans really were herd animals. And now I was at their mercy.”

If you’re a teacher…

It was interesting how Adventurine had to learn how to control the dragony feelings of rage that bubbled up inside during challenging situations. She also is quite determined and doesn’t give up on her dream to work in a chocolate house. This story would be a great one to have in the classroom for fans of fantasy!

“I blinked out the last of the irritating wetness from my aching eyes and pushed myself up from the ground with a growl of fury. What kind of dragon would curl up and surrender just because she’d had a bit of bad luck?”

Opening Line:

“I can’t say I ever wondered what it felt like to be human.”

Other Info:

Stephanie Burgis is the author of the Kat Incorrigible series. I believe (hope!) The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart is the first in a series too!


  1. This sounds like a fantastic new book by Stephanie. Who couldn't love it with the chocolate theme? BTW, Stephanie's first middle grade book was Kat Incorrigible.

    1. Thanks,Natalie! I really liked this book so I'll have to look for the others.

  2. WOW! Thank you for sharing this original new fantasy book! I love it! Also love how you share how writer's and teachers can use the book.

  3. Thanks for the great post about this new book. It left me with only one thought... What's not to like? Can't wait to make a steaming cup of hot chocolate and get my hands on a copy of this adventure.

    1. It's a lot of fun, Greg! I love the character personalities, too! Reading it with a cup of hot chocolate is an awesome idea.

  4. Dragons and chocolate? Can't go wrong. Thanks for the post.


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