by R.L. LaFevers
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009
From Amazon:Ten-year-old Nathaniel Fludd is the reluctant hero of Flight of the Phoenix (2009), the madcap debut of the American author R. L. LaFevers’s Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series and a Junior Library Guild selection. The year is 1928, the setting England, and Nate’s wayward parents have just been reported lost at sea. Nate is sent that very day to his Aunt Phil’s house in Batting-at-the-Flies, but not for long . . . The morning after he arrives at the renowned beastologist’s doorstep, she whisks him away to the Arabian desert to witness a phoenix lay an egg! Kelly Murphy’s cartoonish black-and-white pen-and-ink illustrations add charm and humor to an already delightful adventure sure to please fans of mythology, maps, camels, and gremlins. Includes a glossary of terms from “cartographer” to “Tidy Sum".
Such a fun adventure! I loved Nathaniel’s character right from the beginning, with his awkwardness and poor sense of direction. And I especially liked the way he carried his sketchbook everywhere. The idea of a Beastologist really captured my attention and is a good premise for a series. I’m curious about the mysterious Book of Beasts and would read on to the next book to find out more about it. This is a quick, fast-paced story that will appeal to readers ages 7 to 11.
As a writer, this book reminded me that it’s okay to follow your imagination and see where it takes you when you’re writing a story.
Favourite quotes:“She was tall with lots of elbows and knees and angles poking about, which reminded him of a giraffe.”
“His hopes began to grow, filling up and spreading out until there was hardly any room left over for fear.”
Other info:R.L. LaFevers traveled on many adventures of her own when she was a child, and now writes from her ranch in Southern California.
These words of wisdom on writing from Robin’s blog are a great reminder that I added to a sticky on my computer: “The plot is not the story. The plot is simply (ha! nothing simple about plotting!) the device or vehicle that gets all the elements together so that the real story can happen.”In an interview with R.L. LaFevers at The Enchanted Inkpot with eleven-year-old Summer in 2010, she gave this inspiring advice: “Courage comes in all shapes and sizes. No matter how small or timid you are, you have the capacity to do heroic things.”
Other books written by this author include:The Unicorn’s Treasure (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 4), 2011
The Wyverns' Treasure (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 3), 2010
The Basilisk's Lair (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 2), 2010
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh (Theodosia Throckmorton, #4), 2011
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus (Theodosia Throckmorton, Book #3), 2010Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris (Theodosia Throckmorton, #2), 2008
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (Theodosia Throckmorton, #1), 2007
For more, visit R.L. LaFevers’ website.
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