Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

Peanut goes to schoolWhy I read it:  I received a copy from the author via NetGalley.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.

Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.

A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.

They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.

When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.

Warning: Series spoilers follow

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Peanut Goes to School follows on about a month after the events in Pia Saves the Day.  Pia asked Liam to be a “big soldier” so he “pushed” and grew bigger overnight – he’s only six months old chronologically but he looks like he’s about five or six.  Because Liam is surrounded by adults, Pia and Dragos decide it is important to send him to school so he can socialise with other children.  He needs to learn how to interact with people and to control himself (there was an incident with some cows). His parents realise they have little time before he’s apparently an adult and once he’s bigger he will be that much more powerful.  He doesn’t need the curriculum for education purposes.  Liam is wicked smart.  But he needs to play and interact with other kids.

Much of the story is told from Liam’s POV and he remains charming and cute.  He does have to learn to control his temper because he is very strong and very powerful but the good news is that the control he has to learn is in the role of protector not villain.

Peanut has a very eventful first day at school – some of it quite heavy. While I don’t really love reading about children being threatened, I could remind myself that Liam is very powerful (and much more so than the average five year old) so that helped – and assistance was never far away (Hugh and others were on guard just outside the school at all times and were keeping a very close eye).  There were some lighter moments and I laughed at his comments to his would-be first-grade girlfriend:

“I’m not going to be a kid for very long, so I can’t make any long-term commitments.”

Pia and Dragos both have sections from their POVs and we find out a little more about how Dragos is dealing with the effects of his memory loss.  I confess one of the things that makes a man attractive to me (not necessarily in a romantic way) is a fierce love for his child and we get to see both parents demonstrating their devotion to Liam – each in their own inimitable style.

It was so charming how Pia’s thinking went straight to the justice system, while he thought of things like vivisection and dismemberment.

It’s a fairly short story – just under 50 pages so it makes for a quick and fun evening’s read.

Grade: B



2 comments on “Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

  1. Merrian

    Loved it too – in a genre where plot poppets rule it is a delight when a child’s voice feels so right and it is fun exploring the ‘realities’ of raising a superhuman and seeing Dragos and Pia as Mum and Dad.

  2. Kaetrin

    @Merrian: Yeah, I’ve always liked Liam’s character in the books and you don’t really read much about supernatural children and the challenges of parenting them. 🙂

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