Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I)

Posted on Jun 4, 2016 in BR Library

9780547408453By R. LaFevers
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 137
Lexile: 640L
Age Range: 6 – 9 Years

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.”

Don’t miss the next books in the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series: The Basilisk’s Lair (Book 2), The Wyverns’ Treasure (Book 3), and The Unicorn’s Tale (Book 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 cliches 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)
—Kirkus Reviews