Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 11
- Grade: 3 to 6
This delightful chapter book introduces young readers to Cooper Clark, whose world takes an alarming turn when his regular babysitter gets a new job. Arrangements are then made for Cooper to spend his after-school hours with old Mrs. Mulligan — a plan he does not care for one bit! Everyone knows that Mrs. Mulligan has a real live dragon in her basement and although he has kept his fears secret, Cooper is very afraid of dragons. In order to avoid Mrs. Mulligan's dreadful pet, Cooper comes up with one zany plan after another. It isn't until he runs out of ideas that Cooper makes a most important discovery.
Filled with fun and very real emotion, Cooper Clark is sure to steal readers' hearts.
About the author
Valerie Sherrard first decided to become an author when she was in grade six! Her homeroom teacher that year, Mr. Alf Lower, praised and encouraged her efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. After producing about a dozen books for teens, Sherrard turned her hand to picture books. There’s a COW Under My Bed! introduces Oscar Ollie Brown, who will be embarking on his second adventure in There’s a Goldfish in my Shoe! in the fall of 2009. Since becoming a published author, Sherrard has enjoyed visiting many classrooms and libraries to speak to young people about writing, literacy, and most of all, finding and following your dreams. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Valerie has spent time in a number of provinces, including her current home of New Brunswick. She lives in Miramichi with her husband Brent and their four cats: Lilly, Thragg, Patootie and Cody.
"An original and entertaining novel. . . Cooper Clark and the Dragon Lady will prove to be a delightful original, enjoyably compelling, and enduringly popular addition to elementary school and community library general fiction collections."
— Midwest Book Review
"Award-winning New Brunswick author Valerie Sherrard has once again succeeded in creating an earnest and appealing protagonist in this new offering for early readers. She portrays Cooper's dilemma with sensitivity and compassion, and skillfully captures his genuine fear in a way that will elicit empathy from young readers. The adult characters in the story are also well-drawn and believable, and Cooper demonstrates ingenuity and resourcefulness as he concocts his various plans to avoid going to Mrs. Mulligan's and being eaten by her dragon (even when he doesn't necessarily foresee the consequences of his actions). Readers will appreciate the unexpected but satisfying ending."
— Atlantic Books Today
"Tackling important issues in early readers is not always easy. You don't have the expressive illustrations of picture books that can carry much of a message or the vocabulary and word count of middle grade or YA novels to delve deep into issues such as anxiety and fears. So, for Valerie Sherrard to speak to young readers at their level of worry and the expression of that worry, she has accomplished much with Cooper Clark and the Dragon Lady. It's a short story that accepts that young children will have fears that seem outlandish to those who are older and that they will find clumsy strategies to deal with those fears. However, those fears are very real. But, with some support from others, and a dose of the truth, those fears can be reconstructed into something less destructive."
— CanLit for Little Canadians