Pretty sure I read this when I was a kid. Perhaps 7 years ago. Newish then.

This kid is struggling to carve his magic "flying insect" vehicle. He suddenly finds inspiration and models it on a dragonfly

The magic school is on the shore of a lake

  • Is it the Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott? It mentions a charmed wooden golden wasp. I couldn't get any more info than that.
    – djm
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 17:48
  • Nah but thanks.
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:45
  • I just realized that the insect might have been a dragonfly
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 18:51
  • Michael Ende's Zauberschule matches "book where children trained in magic, fashioned aerial vehicles" but not the other details I think.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


It may have been The Last of the Sky Pirates, a book in The Edge Chronicles series by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. In it, a boy named Rook goes on a journey to the Free Glades to be educated in the ways of the Librarian Knights, where he builds his own 'skycraft' shaped like a 'storm hornet' and learns to fly. He has some trouble carving it because he doesn't know what he wants to make and it won't turn out right, but after losing his temper with the project and receiving some advice about finding the right design from his teacher he goes out to the lake and sees a storm hornet, and immediately knows that he's finally found the right design.


  • This is it. It all fits; I was about 11 (Ok 9 years ago) and living in England when I read it. Thanks
    – Chris
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 13:38

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