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THE BASILISK’S LAIR by R.L. LaFevers

THE BASILISK’S LAIR

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 2

By R.L. LaFevers (Author) , Kelly Murphy (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-23867-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

When his Aunt Phil flies to the western Sudan to recapture an escaped basilisk, she takes Nathaniel Fludd along, reassuring him that he is only to “watch and learn.” Instead, he and his gremlin friend, Greasle, play important roles. This satisfying middle-grade adventure features a hesitant, unskilled hero, a miniature sidekick straight from Where the Wild Things Are and an exotic setting in colonial British West Africa in 1928. The basilisk is appropriately scary, and straightforward storytelling leads to an exciting climax. Readers won’t get and don’t need the entire back story from Flight of the Phoenix (2009), the first in the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series, but those who have read it will surely enjoy the return of the supposed orphan and his formidable aunt. Murphy has provided a full-page pen-and-ink illustration as well as several smaller sketches for almost every chapter, and Nathaniel contributes drawings, too. Sharp-eyed readers will realize that the chapter numbers are counted in animal bones. This story is complete in itself, but the ending promises more adventure to come. (Guide to People, Places, and Things) (Adventure. 7-10)