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THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX by R.L. LaFevers

THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 1

by R.L. LaFevers & illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-23865-4

When his parents are declared lost at sea in 1928, ten-year-old Nate is sent to live with a cousin, who whisks him off to Arabia to watch the fiery death and rebirth of a phoenix. In this series opener, Nate learns he is heir to a long tradition of mapmakers and beastologists, people who study animals thought to be mythological or extinct. He acquires a gremlin friend, Greasle, and proves himself worthy of the Fludd family compass. The series has a promising premise and this first installment is well paced and complete, although tantalizing loose ends will frustrate readers who will want to know NOW about the missing letters, the mysterious thief and the actual fate of Nate’s parents. Playing freely with historical detail and using traditions of English boys’ adventure stories and colonial clichés about Bedouin culture, this American author has crafted an exciting tale. Straightforward sentences, chronological narrative, short chapters and Murphy’s plentiful black-and-white illustrations make this appropriate for middle-grade readers looking for a series to grow with. (Fantasy. 8-12)