Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (Magic Shop Series)

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (Magic Shop Series)

4.8 55
by Bruce Coville, Gary A. Lippincott

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Sixth-grader Jeremy Thatcher discovers a strange magic shop he has never seen before. He enters, and his life is changed forever. Buying what he thinks is a marble, he discovers he has really purchased a dragon’s egg.
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Sixth-grader Jeremy Thatcher discovers a strange magic shop he has never seen before. He enters, and his life is changed forever. Buying what he thinks is a marble, he discovers he has really purchased a dragon’s egg.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* "A funny, enjoyable, imaginative story whose serious undercurrents lend it unexpected depth."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Not only is the story involving but the reader can really get a feeling for Jeremy as a person."—VOYA
"Will bring laughter and near tears to readers. . . . Dragons really exist for a little while."—School Library Journal

Children's Choice Award Nominee (in sixteen states)

IRA Teachers' Choice

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jeremy forms an unexpected bond with Tiamat the dragon in this sequel to The Monster's Ring. Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In escaping from Mary Lou who wants to kiss him, Jeremy ends up in a strange magic shop. He buys what looks like a marble, but it turns out to be a dragon's egg. His trials and tribulations raising a pet dragon result in a funny, fantastic story with a meaningful message about growing up. Black-eyed Susan Book Award winner. 1992 (orig.
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
While running to escape some bullies, Jeremy Thatcher dashes into a strange magic shop. He becomes entranced with a multi-colored sphere, but the crotchety store clerk seems reluctant to part with it. He admonishes Jeremy to carefully follow the instructions included with the sphere-instructions for hatching a dragon's egg! Once hatched, Jeremy and the dragonlet develop a wonderful bond-they can communicate through images projected to one another. Luckily, the dragon is invisible to most people. However, having a dragon at school or at a dinner party can be a disaster! Soon it is time for the dragon to return to its proper home, and Jeremy wrestles with relief from the burden of caring for it contrasted with the misery of losing his beloved friend. This wonderful fantasy tale is strengthened by this discussion of loss and the permanence of love as well as another sub-plot involving the true motives of a difficult teacher.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
When the marble egg that Jeremy buys at Mr. Elives' Magic Shop hatches into a dragon, Jeremy's life changes drastically. Tiamat, like ET, is irresistible. Jeremy learns responsibility and the power of love. Enter the world of Jeremy and Tiamat. There won't be a dry eye in the house when it is time for Tiamat to return to her own world. Will Jeremy be able to set her free?

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Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Magic Shop Series, #2
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.49(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Animals fed, Jeremy sat down to study the ball. Shoving aside a stack of unfinished drawings, he placed the box in the center of his desk and took off the lid.

It's like a kaleidoscope, he thought, as the colors swirled in the light of his desk lamp. Except you don't need to look through a tube to see it.

Marveling that the old man had sold him such a wonder for only a quarter, Jeremy reached out to touch its glossy surface. With a cry of surprise he pulled back his hand.

The ball was warmer than before. Eying it nervously, Jeremy unfolded the paper the old man had tucked into the box. Probably directions for keeping it clean, he thought, as he spread the paper out on his desk. But when he looked at it, he blinked in surprise.

A picture of a dragon stretched up the left side and around the top corner of the page. A burst of flames extending from its mouth separated into fiery letters that said, "How to Hatch a Dragon's Egg."

Jeremy frowned. What kind of fool does that old man think I am?

The whole thing was ridiculous. But it was also intriguing, so he decided to read the rest of the page, which had been written by hand in a script that was loose and spidery.


The egg you have just purchased has already gone through a long aging process. It now needs but two things to be ready to hatch -- the light of a full moon, and the words of a true friend.

To quicken the egg, take it outside at midnight on the night of the next full moon. Lift it to the moonlight and whisper: Full moon's light to wake the egg, Full moon's light to hatch it; Midsummer Night will crack the world, But St. John's Day will patch it.

Exposethe egg to the moonlight for at least three hours, then await the results.

You have been entrusted with a very special creature, Jeremy Thatcher. Treat it with care, for its safety depends upon your willingness to follow these directions exactly.

It goes without saying that secrecy is essential.

Good hatching!

-S. H. Elives

Jeremy felt the hairs at the back of his neck begin to prickle. How did that old man know my name? he wondered. He was sure he had never mentioned it.

"Hey, Bub!" said a voice, making him jump.

The voice came from a speaker mounted on the wall next to his desk -- part of the intercom system his dad had installed during the last burst of what Jeremy's mother called "Herbert's occasional electronic enthusiasms."

"Hey, Bub," repeated his father. "Are you there?"

"I'm here," said Jeremy, somewhat reluctantly.

"Well, you shouldn't be. You should be here, getting your chores done."

Despite the admonishing words, Dr. Thatcher's voice was cheerful.

"Be right there," said Jeremy, trying to sound enthusiastic.

Slipping the instructions under a pile of his drawings, Jeremy headed out of his room and down the stairs. With Grief bouncing at his heels, he ambled down the winding driveway, past the pair of small barns, to his father's veterinary office. Stepping inside, Jeremy found his father shoving vitamins into a ferret.

"Hold still, ho-o-old still," crooned Herbert Thatcher to the squirming mass of brown and yellow fur in his hands. "Ah, there's a love!"

Jeremy reached out to take the ferret.

"Hey, kiddo," said his father, handing over the animal. "How was your day?"

Jeremy put the ferret on his shoulder. The action gave him a chance to think about his father's question.

"Complicated," he said at last, squirming a bit as the little animal licked his ear.

Dr. Thatcher raised an eyebrow, his way of requesting more information.

"Well, for one thing, Mary Lou Hutton wants to kiss me."

Dr. Thatcher wrinkled his nose. "That's what you get for being so cute."

"I'm not cute!"

"Okay, you're ugly. Put Farrah in her cage and go feed the cats. I've got one more patient to see before I can knock off for the night."

Jeremy caged the ferret, then found the cat food and began filling the dishes. In the next to last cage crouched an enormous orange-and-white cat with tattered ears and a swollen eye.

"Hey, Pete," said Jeremy. "How ya doin'?"

The cat -- whose full name, according to his owner, was "Fat Pete, Porkus Extrernus" -- was in the office at least once a month to get stitched up after one of his fights. While today's eye problem was new, the tattered ears had been that way for years.

Jeremy reached through the bars to scratch behind Pete's ears. The cat responded by clawing his hand.

Jeremy pulled back. "Why, you rotten..."

"Jeremy!" called his father from the other room. "What's the rule?"

Jeremy sighed. "There's no sense in getting mad at a cat for being a cat." He knew it was true, but he stuck his tongue out at Pete anyway.

After all the animals were fed, Jeremy and his father walked back to the house. The sky was dark with clouds, and in the distance they could hear a rumble of thunder.

"When's the next full moon?" Jeremy asked suddenly, as they reached the back door.

Dr. Thatcher, who was apt to burst into song whenever something reminded him of a Iyric, threw back his head and sang, "Full mooooon brings empty heart --"


Dr. Thatcher paused. "I don't know," he said. "But it can't be long. Go get today's paper."

"I don't think a full moon counts as big news, Dad."

"Just get the paper."

Jeremy got the paper. His father showed him the almanac on the inside of the first page. It told when the sun came up, when it was going to set, what time the moon rose and set, and other equally trivial things.

"They're not so trivial when you want to know them," said Dr. Thatcher. "Anyway," he continued, pointing to the almanac, "to answer your question, the next full moon is tonight."


Dr. Thatcher glanced at his watch. "Starting in about two hours," he said. "Assuming it doesn't rain."

Jeremy swallowed. He didn't really believe the thing upstairs was an egg. But if he wanted to know for sure, he'd have to start tonight. Either that, or wait another whole month.

Leaving his father, he went upstairs to look at the ball. He picked it up and held it for a moment. It was warmer than ever. Pulling out the directions, he made up his mind.

Tonight he would try to hatch a dragon.

Copyright © 1993 by Bruce Coville

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
[set star] "A funny, enjoyable, imaginative story whose serious undercurrents lend it unexpected depth."—Kirkus Reviews
"Not only is the story involving but the reader can really get a feeling for Jeremy as a person."—VOYA
"Will bring laughter and near tears to readers . . . Dragons really exist for a little while."—School Library Journal

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