"It was one of the most important moments in Nathaniel Fludd'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. He'd been given clear instructions not to listen in on Miss Lumpton's conversation with the lawyer. The problem was the they sat only three feet away and the lawyer spoke rather loudly"
After hearing she's been left a small sum by Nate's parents, Miss Lumpton says a quick goodbye. Nate's is rushed to catch a train to live with an aunt he's never meet. Nate comes from a long line of beastologist. The Fludd's study mythical beasts like dodos and griffin's. Most begin their travels and studies by the age of eight. Nate will be going on his first expedition with his aunt Phil. The two will be flying in a small plane to Arabia.
"Well, Arabia is in the Near East. We'll fly across the channel to France, then down across Europe to Turkey. We'll clip the Mediterranean Sea, than land in Arabia. We'll stop for a short rest and refueling in Budapest."
The book is filled with some great black and white illustrations. One of my favorite is Nate on the wing of the plane. Something is wrong propeller, and Nate's aunt wants him to fix it.
"Gripping the side of the plane for dear life, he shuffled his feet along the wing, inching closer to the propeller. The plane bucked and dipped, adjusting to his shifting weight. Even with the slower speed, the wind screamed past him, tugging at his shirt, his helmet, his body, trying to dislodge him from his wobbly perch. His heart hammering in his chest, Nate kept his eyes glued to the nose of the plane and tried not to think about how far down the ground was"
I love the illustrations that coincides with this text. Nate's bracing himself against the plane, with the rope tied around his waist. His aunt Phil is giving him a thumbs up from safely inside the plane. You can see Nate's fear through the goggles. I thought Beastologist was a very fun read. The story moves very well. There's adventure, danger and humor. Flight of the Phoenix is the start of a wonderful new series for early readers. 8up