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    Original Essays | March 11, 2015

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    When I tell people I've spent the last three years working on a book about Atlantis, they usually have two questions. The first almost always goes... Continue »

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Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist #01: Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I)


Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist #01: Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I) Cover




Chapter One

It was one of the most important moments in Nathaniel Fluddand#8217;s young life, and he was stuck sitting in the corner. Miss Lumpton had promised him an overnight trip to the city to visit the zoo. Instead, he found himself in a stuffy office with their suitcases at his feet and his sketchbook in his lap. Heand#8217;d been given clear instructions not to listen in on Miss Lumptonand#8217;s conversation with the lawyer. The problem was, they sat only three feet away and the lawyer spoke rather loudly. Nate tried to concentrate on his drawing.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice," the lawyer said.

Nate drummed his heels on one of the suitcases to try to drown out the sound of their voices. Miss Lumpton shushed him.

He stopped kicking.

"You said you had news?" Miss Lumpton asked.

The lawyer lowered his voice, and Nate felt as if his ears grew a bit, straining to hear. "Weand#8217;ve had word of his parents." Nateand#8217;s head jerked up.

Miss Lumpton caught him looking. "Keep drawing," she ordered, then turned back to the lawyer. Nate kept his eyes glued to the sketchbook in front of him. But even though his pencil was moving dutifully on the paper, every molecule of his body was focused on the lawyerand#8217;s words.

"On May twenty-third of this year, the airship Italia crashed on the ice near the North Pole."

Nateand#8217;s pencil froze. His body felt hot, then cold. He hadnand#8217;t even known his parents were on an airship.

The lawyer continued. "After months of searching, only eight of the sixteen crew have been found. The boyand#8217;s parents were not among them."

Miss Lumpton put a hand to her throat. "So what does that mean, exactly?" Her voice wobbled.

"It means that, as of this day, September fifth, 1928, Horatio and Adele Fludd have been declared lost at sea."

"I thought you said they crashed on the ice?" Nate blurted out. Luckily, Miss Lumpton was too busy fishing for her handkerchief to notice he spoke out of turn.

"Yes, well, technically, the ice was frozen seawater," the lawyer said. "But either way, Iand#8217;m afraid your parents arenand#8217;t coming back." Miss Lumpton began to cry quietly.

Nate hadnand#8217;t seen his parents in more than three years. Of course, heand#8217;d missed them horribly when they first left. Heand#8217;d been comforted only when they promised to send for him on his eighth birthday.

"You need a little more time to grow up," his father had said. "When youand#8217;re old enough to travel well and your sense of adventure has developed, weand#8217;ll send for you then."

Time had passed. On his eighth birthday, Nate had been excited, but nervous, too. He wasnand#8217;t sure his love of adventure had shown up yet. But his parentsand#8217; letter asking him to join them never showed up, either. "Just as well," Miss Lump-ton had sniffed. "Their job is much too important to have a youngster tagging along, getting in the way."

On his ninth birthday Nate had been hopeful. Miss Lumpton told him not to be silly. His parentsand#8217; work was much too dangerous for a young boy. Especially a young boy like himself, one who liked quiet walks, reading, and drawing. Clearly he wasnand#8217;t suited to a life of adventure. Nate was a little disappointedand#151;he thought he had felt the smallest beginning of an adventurous spark.

By his tenth birthday, Nate had buried the memory of his parents and never took it out anymore. Much like a toy heand#8217;d outgrown, he told himself. But the truth was, thinking of them hurt too much.

And now he would never see them again.

Miss Lumpton dabbed at her eyes with the handkerchief. "So the poor boy is all alone in the world?"

Nate wished sheand#8217;d stop crying. It wasnand#8217;t her parents whoand#8217;d been lost at sea.

"No, no, my dear Miss Lumpton," the lawyer said. "That is not the case at all. The boy is to live with a Phil A. Fludd."

Miss Lumpton stopped crying. "Phil A. Fludd? Well, who is that, Iand#8217;d like to know."

The lawyer studied the paper in front of him. "A cousin of the boyand#8217;s father. Lives in Batting-at-the-Flies up in North County."

Miss Lumpton sniffed. "Well, what about me?"

Suddenly Nate understood why sheand#8217;d been crying. She hadnand#8217;t been worried about him at all.

"Theyand#8217;ve left you a Tidy Sum, Miss Lumpton. You shall not want."

Miss Lumptonand#8217;s tears disappeared. She sat up straighter and leaned forward. "How much?"

The lawyer told her the amount of money she would

receive. Her cheeks grew pink with pleasure. "Well, that should do very nicely."

"In fact," the lawyer said, "my clerk is holding the

funds for you. If youand#8217;d like to check with him when weand#8217;re doneand#151;"

Miss Lumpton stood up. "I think weand#8217;re done."

Nate looked at her in surprise. He didnand#8217;t think they were done. He didnand#8217;t understand why he couldnand#8217;t stay with Miss Lumpton. Why couldnand#8217;t things go on the way they had for the past three years?

His governess came over to where he sat and gave him an awkward pat on the head. "Good luck, dear boy." She grabbed one of the suitcases and left the room in search of her Tidy Sum.

Nate did feel like crying then. Instead, he blinked quite fast.

"Now," the lawyer boomed, "we must go, too." He pulled a pocket watch from his vest and looked at it. "You have a train to catch."

"A train?" Nate asked.

"Yes. Now put that book of yours away and come along." The lawyer closed his watch with a snap. "Eh, what have you drawn there?" he asked. "A walrus?"

"Er, yes." Nate shut the sketchbook quickly, before the lawyer could recognize himself.

"Well, do hurry. It wouldnand#8217;t do to miss the train. It wouldnand#8217;t do at all." The lawyer came out from behind his desk and grabbed Nateand#8217;s suitcase.

Nate stood up and tucked his sketchbook under his arm. The lawyer clamped his hand onto Nateand#8217;s shoulder and steered him out of the office.

Nate had to take giant steps to keep up. The train station was only two blocks away, but Nate was out of breath by the time they got there.

"All aboard!" the conductor called out.

"Here." The lawyer thrust the suitcase at Nate and shoved a ticket into his hand. "Hurry, boy! They wonand#8217;t hold the train for you." His voice was gruff and impatient. Nate wondered if the lawyer would get a Tidy Sum for getting him on the train.

Once he was onboard, Nate hurried to the window to wave goodbye, but the lawyer had already left.

Product Details

Lafevers, R L
HMH Books for Young Readers
Murphy, Kelly
Murphy, Kelly
La Fevers, R. L.
Fantasy & Magic
Action & Adventure - General
Animals - Birds
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Children s-Adventure Stories
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 3 to 7
black and white
7.63 x 5.13 in 0.29 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Animals » Mythical
Children's » Awards » Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award
Children's » Beginning Readers » General
Children's » Chapter Books
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Sale Books
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General

Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist #01: Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book I) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780547408453 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In the third book in the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series, Nate suspects the ransacking of Aunt Phil's house, the rampaging wyverns—giant, winged dragons—in Wales, and Nates parents disappearance at sea are all connected to the mysterious man whos been trying to steal the Fludd Book of Beasts. This is a mystery on the world's youngest Beastologist can solve!
"Synopsis" by ,

After tangling with the deadly basilisk, Nathaniel Fludd is glad to return to England with his Aunt Phil. But someone has ransacked their home, and their best suspect is the sinister man who's been trying to steal the Book of Beasts.

Before Nate and Aunt Phil can find the culprit, they are called to Welsh countryside. The wyverns (giant dragons) are in an uproar. Could the same man who ransacked the Fludd house be behind the rift with the wyverns? And just what does he want with The Book of Beasts? But before Nate can solve that mystery, he must calm the dragons before it's too late. It's just another day at work for the world's youngest beastologist!

"Synopsis" by ,
Nathaniel Fludds life has taken a turn for the worst. With his parents lost at sea, he lands on the doorstep of a distant cousin—the worlds last remaining beastologist. Soon Nate is whisked off on his first expedition, to Arabia, where the worlds 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 worlds mythical creatures and extinction.

Too bad Nates not the sort of boy who enjoys adventure . . .yet.

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