Book of the Month – July 2019

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is a smallish Viking with a longish name. Hiccup's father is chief of the Hairy Hooligan tribe which means Hiccup is the Hope and the Heir to the Hairy Hooligan throne – but most of the time Hiccup feels like a very ordinary boy, finding it hard to be a Hero.

In the first How to Train Your Dragon book Hiccup must lead ten novices in their initiation into the Hairy Hooligan Tribe. They have to train their dragons or be banished from the tribe forever! But what if Hiccup's dragon resembles an ickle brown bunny with wings? And has no teeth? The Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus is stirring and wants to devour every Viking on the Isle of Berk... Can Hiccup save the tribe – and become a Hero?

First published in 2003, How to Train Your Dragon has today sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC.

Read it? Loved it? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HayBookoftheMonth.

Buy the book

Watch Cressida Cowell speaking about How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once at Hay Festival 2019

Further reading...

"I encourage you to be creative. It’s part of my job", The Guardian (2016)

10 things I'd like my readers to know about me, Female First (2017)

In the studio, BBC World (2018)

About the author

Cressida Cowell is author and illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once book series, and author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. The first book in Cressida’s new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children’s Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children’s Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, Philosophy Now magazine’s 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity, and the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction.

Cressida Cowell

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a title we've loved and think holds added resonance today. While many recommendations celebrate the new, this is a chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry – new and old – that reaches through time to touch the present.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HayBookoftheMonth and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

Over on Hay Player, a special playlist of talks to view online offer additional perspectives on the books from some of the greatest writers and thinkers around the world.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please email publicity@hayfestival.org.

Happy reading!