The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

The Dragons of Ordinary Farm

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Tyler and Lucinda have to spend summer vacation with their ancient uncle Gideon, a farmer. They think they're in for six weeks of cows, sheep, horses, and pigs. But when they arrive in deserted Standard Valley, California, they discover that Ordinary Farm is, well, no ordinary farm.

The bellowing in the barn comes not from a cow but from a dragon. The thundering herd in the valley? Unicorns. Uncle Gideon's sprawling farmhouse never looks the same twice. Plus, there's a flying monkey, a demon squirrel, and a barnload of unlikely farmhands with strange accents and even stranger powers.

At first, the whole place seems like a crazy adventure. But when darker secrets begin to surface and Uncle Gideon and his fabulous creatures are threatened, Lucinda and Tyler have to pull together to take action. Will two ordinary kids be able to save the dragons, the farm—and themselves?

Expert storytellers Tad Williams and Deborah Beale take readers on an extraordinary adventure in their first book about Ordinary Farm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061912306
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/30/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 308,234
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Tad Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of some fourteen books for adults, which have been translated into twenty-three languages and sell worldwide. Among his bestsellers are The Dragonbone Chair, The Otherland Cycle, and Shadowmarch. Deborah Beale was a longtime editor of books for adults and children in her native London before she began her career as a writer. This is the first book Tad and Deborah have written together. They live with their children in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, with far more cats, dogs, reptiles, pet ants, and banana slugs than they can count.

What People are Saying About This

Christopher Paolini

“THE DRAGONS OF ORDINARY FARM is an exciting beginning to a new series. The plot is clever, the characters interesting and mysterious, and best of all, it has dragons! I can hardly wait for their next page-turning adventure.”

Terry Brooks

“There’s nothing ordinary about Ordinary Farm, a place filled with strange creatures and dangers around every corner. Readers will identify with Tyler and Lucinda and wish they were there with them. This is a rousing tale that should and will find a wide readership.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Dragons of Ordinary Farm 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Deborah_Beale More than 1 year ago
Dear Ms Szewczyk Over the years my husband and business partner (we have been working together for 20 years) Tad Williams has been reviewed by Kirkus for most if not all of his novels. The reviews are always the worst of anything that we receive. It's both painful and funny, being on the receiving end. The review for our juvenile novel, The Dragons Of Ordinary Farm, continues the tradition. I feel compelled to ask you, sincerely, when so many books are published in the world, why does Kirkus continue to give us attention? You guys hate our work. It's a pattern. It's not really my idea of criticism, it just seems to be relentless bile. Truly, hand on heart, why bother? I wish respectfully to ask you not to review us again. There are a lot of books that deserve thoughtful critical attention - a lot of young writers for whom a review in Kirkus could be a real boost. Please, in future, can you consider giving the space to someone who (in your opinion) might be more deserving of attention? Sincerely Deborah Beale
harstan More than 1 year ago
Their mom informs Tyler and Lucinda that they will send four weeks with the Pierho family while she goes on a singles retreat. Lucinda begs her to send them almost anywhere else though her choice would be dad; Tyler has given up the fight. A letter arrives from Great Uncle Gideon Goldring whom mom thought died a century ago inviting his great niece and nephew to spend time on his farm in Standard Valley, California. Mom informs the "King and Queen of Romania" that they will visit their great uncle for six weeks. Lucinda moans they went from fish smell to cow excrement; Tyler is silent. The farm is not what the kids expected nor is Uncle Gideon who seems distracted and panicked though they have no earthly idea why. The workers (Mr. Walkwell, Colin and his mom) are not welcoming. Tyler and Lucinda soon meet the not ordinary farm animals starting with a "dragon" cow in the barn and a griffin. Both wonder how no one has discovered the rather nosy unicorn herd. They meet other strange creatures. As an excited Tyler investigates what is going on and why Gideon seems on the verge of a nervous breakdown, he persuades his moping sister to join him on a trek through time and reality; not quite fully realizing yet why they were brought to the farm. The first part of this exciting fantasy escorts the young readers around the farm through mostly Tyler's exploration; Lucinda is still in an unlikable snit. This enables the older elementary school audience to meet the not so ordinary farm animals and the workers. That in turn sets the stage for Lucinda (having moved from sulk to awe) and Tyler's most excellent adventures that take up most of the fast-paced story line ending with a great climax. Young fans will want to join the outsiders on their incredible summer vacation (imagine how they will explain what they did when they return to school). Harriet Klausner
gimble on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lucinda and Tyler two kids from a broken home find themselfs going to visit a distant relative. The holliday is anything but normal. Ordinary Farm is a very good tale and a fine example of what kind of mischouf two kids can get into in a few short months.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: When I heard Tad Williams had a book out for juveniles, I was so going to be reading it. Comments: Tyler and Lucinda are sent to spend the summer with their incredibly old great uncle (whom they've never met) while their mother goes on a singles retreat. Not looking forward at all to farm life: where will she go shopping? will there be electricity to recharge his hand-held gamer? they are reluctant guests. Upon arrival they quickly see that this is no ordinary farm, all the farm hands and kitchen staff talk with strange accents and seem as though they come from various far away countries. Then on their first day they are shown around the farm and meet the inhabitants: unicorns, basilisks, a flying monkey, cockatrices, baby griffins, a couple of dragons and many more fantastic creatures. Tyler and Lucinda are sworn to secrecy but are only given small pieces of information at a time leaving them full of questions with no answers. So they take to exploring on their own at night and find some incredible answers and mysterious clues to a secret from the past as they also learn that the farm itself and the dragons are in danger. Well, I just loved this book. A setting filled with fantastic creatures is a sure bet I'm going to have some fun. Lucinda and Tyler both started off as rather annoying kids as they were portrayed as a typical brother and sister who spend most of their time together annoying each other and being sarcastic. As they are brought together at the farm for the first time where they have to live together, work together and count on each other their relationship (and attitudes) grow and develop. The eccentric cast of supporting characters is a riot from Great Uncle Gideon who always wears his pajamas and house coat to Mrs. Needle, Gideon's assistant with strange powers who cannot be completely trusted to Ragnar, a powerhouse of a Scandinavian. The plot is not exactly fast-paced. The first half of the book spends a lot of time in the kids enjoying their new exciting surroundings, getting to know the fascinating people and slowly unraveling the mysteries. The troubles slowly mount until a pivotal point where the action picks up and the second half of the book has a plot full of action as events unfold at a faster-pace and reveals follow one another. I had a great time reading this. I loved the motley crew of characters. The plot is a lot of fun and the dragon side story is unique and well, who doesn't love a good dragon story? The story is nicely wrapped up yet there is a bigger plot running along which will continue through the series and the book leaves us with a satisfying ending but also knowing the children will be returning to Ordinary Farm again. Get in at the start with this series folks, it's quite likely, imho, that this is going to become a popular one. I'm really looking forward to book two.
seitherin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A joy to read. It was a lovely way to cleanse the palate after reading all that heavy, dreary adult stuff. Everyone needs a happy ending every once in a while and the resolution to the dragon problem made this old dragon dreamer very happy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hachis a rare dragon pops out of the shell and snugls with her.
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TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Tyler and Lucinda are not looking forward to spending their summer with an uncle they've never met or heard about. And they're sure they'll be bored to tears when they learn their Uncle Gideon is the owner of Ordinary Farm. Their imagined summer of cows, sheep, and tedious farm chores is far from the adventurous summer they'd like. However, Ordinary Farm is not your average farm. The cow in the barn is an enormous dragon. The leaping sheep of the fields are unicorns. The chicken coops are filled with griffons and other mysterious creatures. The other outbuildings house magical secrets Tyler and Lucinda never imagined. The boring summer the two expected turns out to be the most exciting and thrilling one of their lives. Of course, it could also be their last. A sinister plot is afoot and it's up to Tyler and Lucinda to unravel it and save Ordinary Farm and its secrets. I enjoyed my trip to Ordinary Farm, and I loved spending time with the magical animals and wonderful characters in the world created by Williams and Beale. I am eagerly looking forward to more adventures with the characters and creatures of Ordinary Farm. This is the beginning of a series that promises further revelation and extraordinary fun, and I will be among the first in line to get my hands on the sequel.
haitquink More than 1 year ago
A great book for young and old alike. It felt a bit like Narnia meets Harry Potter, but in a completely original and refreshing way. All in all, an excellent read.
Jems More than 1 year ago
This has been the best book I've read so far this summer. It is written for kids, but, as an adult I ate it up like Ice Cream! It left me wanting more. Much more!
cyan More than 1 year ago
Authors Williams and Beale deftly mix action, adventure, mystery and humour in this perfect-for-summer read. The young protagonists, Tyler and Lucinda, are believable and engaging. The antagonists are plausibly motivated rather than gratuitously evil. The fantastical creatures are realistically dangerous, not fairy-tale idealizations. Best of all, the conclusion is exciting and satisfying, yet leaves plenty of mysteries to delve into in the next volume. Much fun! As a side note, that review by Kirkus makes no sense. It doesn't sound like they even bothered to read the book. And considering Ms. Beale's open letter, I wonder if such a review was written with malicious intent. Rather unprofessional.
kazul More than 1 year ago
A wonderful lesson in trust and belief, peopled with characters who spark the imagination. This is a fun read for all ages and especially for those of us who dream of dragons.