Friday, July 24, 2009

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: The flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Nathaniel Fludd hasn't heard from his parents in over three years. He's been living with his comfortable, if not very interesting, governess. Suddenly, his parents are declared missing, Miss Lumpton disappears with the Tidy Sum left her in his parents' will, and he's on a train going to a new home and a distant cousin. Once he arrives, Nate's adventures start immediately. But is he really an adventurous Fludd? Or just a scared little boy who can't live up to his family's high expectations?

This is definitely a first book in a series - there are soooo many ends left untied. What happened to Nate's parents? What was Miss Lumpton hiding? Who is the mysterious ginger-bearded man? Will Nathaniel's drawings be important later on? I can't wait to find out!

Verdict: Kelly Murphy's black and white illustrations are charming and add to the gentle humor that runs through this story. The adventures are exciting, but not too perilous. A fun transitional chapter book (I just made that up - it's a little harder than a beginning chapter book, not quite a middle grade chapter book) that kids interested in strange beasts and adventures will enjoy. Pass this one to fans of R. L. LaFevers' Theodosia, any of the -ology books from Candlewick, and any child lucky enough to be a fan of David and the Phoenix.

ISBN: 978-0547238654; Published September 2009 by Houghton Mifflin; ARC provided by publisher at ALA 2009; Purchased for the library; Added to my personal wishlist

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