When I am stressed out, or just looking for some light reading, I often turn to young adult fiction or chapter books. They can be quite entertaining and often have quality illustrations. I enjoy seeing how different authors approach the genre. Having young kids, I also figure it is good practice.
My most recent read along these lines was Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I) which caught my attention at the local library. The story starts off with a pretty common hook: boy is orphaned and sent to live with relatives; and the relatives seem odd and foreboding. But after that it takes a different turn.
Here is the publishers blurb:
Nathaniel Fludd’s life has taken a turn for the worst. With his parents lost at sea, he lands on the doorstep of a distant cousin—the world’s last remaining beastologist. Soon Nate is whisked off on his first expedition, to Arabia, where the world’s only phoenix prepares to lay its new egg. When disaster strikes, Nate quickly finds himself all alone.Will he be able to see the phoenix safely hatched, keep his accidental pet gremlin out of trouble, and rescue his guardian from the Bedouin? If he fails, nothing will stand between the world’s mythical creatures and extinction.Too bad Nate’s not the sort of boy who enjoys adventure . . .yet.
Despite the dangerously close to tired orphan meets adventure story line, it turned out to be a cute and well paced story. The concept of a Fludd family whose job it is to take care of exotic animals thought extinct offers enough adventure while at the same time leaving room for mystery and keeping the reader excited about further books in the series. Nate, his Aunt Phil, and the gremlin Greasle are all interesting characters that I look forward to seeing developed.
Of course, this is a children’s chapter book so don’t expect deep plots and complex characters. But if you have young children looking for another adventure series to get hooked on, this one has a promising start.
Thanks for the book recommendation. My kids love these types of books. We are just finishing a great early chapter book for juveniles called Runt Farm: Under New Management by Amanda Lorenzo. It's about a group of smart and funny farm characters that band together and have some fun adventures. The sequel called Runt Farm: Beatrice and Blossom is coming out soon so we'll continue our reading with The Flight of the Phoenix until it arrives.