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The Basilisk's Lair (Nathanial Fludd, Beastologist) Hardcover – June 7, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
Nate Fludd, Beastologist, is back in the camel saddle in hot pursuit of a missing, deadly Basilisk--the King of Serpents. As if saving an entire Dhughani village from the Basilisk's poisonous gaze isn't difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must begin to piece together the mystery of his parents' disappearance and protect the lone copy of the Fludd Book of Beasts from a sinister man who always seem to be one step ahead of them. Pack your goggles, rue, and an extra pair of gloves and join Nate on another unbelievable adventure--there's no rest for the world's youngest beastologist-in-training!

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from R.L. LaFevers, Author of The Basilisk's Lair

Dear Amazon Reader,

When I was a child growing up in Los Angeles, my mother had a weakness for exotic creatures. Consequently, I grew up surrounded by a true menagerie of birds, pets, and brothers. We had an aviary in our back yard, a flock of chickens (one of which was a house chicken!) rabbits, a goat, pet chipmunks, half a dozen cats, three dogs, and, for a short while, a baby anteater. However, probably the most unusual pets we acquired during that time were two baby bear cubs. Much to our surprise, they were not nearly as soft and cuddly as teddy bears would lead one to believe. The bears were caged in my room, giving it the faint aroma of a zoo. One day, when I was at school, the bears escaped their cage, completely destroyed my room, leaped out of the window, and ran down the block where they climbed a very tall tree, then could not figure out how to get back down. That was the day my mother decided we'd probably had had enough exotic pets.

Needless to say, the exposure to all of these creatures greatly shaped my young life. I've always held a special place for animals in my heart and they have figured prominently in my books.

While researching another project, I stumbled across a medieval bestiary, the ultimate zoological authority of its time, and I was fascinated by all the mythical creatures listed in there as factual. Right around that same time, I also read about the modern day discovery of new animal species. It drove home for me just how vast and mysterious our planet was, and who knew what could be living in its hidden valleys, unexplored deserts, and remote mountaintops. Thus the world of Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist was born.

-R.L. LaFevers

(Photo © Rick Carter)

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-5 Nate Fludd, budding beastologist, is back in an adventure even greater than his first. His Aunt Phil receives a telegram that a basilisk has escaped from the village of Bamako. The natives need her help, and soon Nate is racing on a camel, flying across the Sahara, and warding off crocodiles from a boat. Aunt Phil has two friendly weasels willing to do battle with the basilisk, and Nate's troublemaking pet, Greasle, accompanies him every step of the way. The basilisk is terrifying, with it's deadly venom and scales, and Nate musters all his courage to fight it and continues to wonder who freed the beast and what happened to his parents, who disappeared in Flight of the Phoenix (Houghton, 2009). Children who enjoyed the first book will not be disappointed by the sequel, and those new to the series can easily pick up the story line. The action is nonstop, and the elements of fantasy, mystery, and humor will appeal to a wide audience. Murphy's spot art and occasional full-page drawings carry the action along nicely. Jane Cronkhite, Santa Clara County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Series: Nathanial Fludd, Beastologist (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780547238678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547238678
  • ASIN: 0547238673
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,484,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Young Nathaniel Fludd is still trying to deal with the disappearance of his parents as well as his recent encounter with the legendary phoenix when he is caught up in yet another adventure. A basilisk is on the loose and is a threat to a nearby village. It is up to Nate's Aunt Phil to save the day and as beastologist-in-training Nate is expected to accompany her. Nate is not too keen on the idea but he is beginning to realize that being a beastologist is in his blood.

"The Basilisk's Lair (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist Book Two)" is a nicely written and illustrated chapter book for ages 6 to 9. The short chapters and plenty of illustrations make this book a delightful, easy book to read (although author R.L. LaFevers could tone down the vocabulary a bit - at one point she uses the word "sundered", a word which I doubt the majority of 6 to 9-year-olds would know the meaning of). The book is set in the year 1928 and young readers will be introduced to a world pre-cell phones, TVs, computers, and other modern day conveniences. Nathaniel is a delightful character, not particularly brave, but smarter and more resourceful than he realizes. His adventures are fun, a bit dangerous (you do have to wonder at times what his Aunt Phil is thinking) and a bit scary, but not too scary for young readers. LaFevers does a wonderful job of intermingling the real world wiith fantasy elements - I especially love Greasle, Nate's gremlin friend - she adds quite a bit of humor to the book with her never ending quest to find some oil to eat. Adding to the humor in the book is "Nathaniel Fludd's Guide to People, Places and Things", which is a fun mix of real and fictional information. Kelly Murphy's illustrations add a great deal to the book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love the idea behind this book! The story was well written, although too short in my estimation, and the characters very well developed. I really liked that the main character, the young boy Nate, is flawed in a realistic way, showing insecurities that any child his age would have, and being able to overcome them in creative ways. I have not read the first book and while I was able to follow along and understand the story there are references to the first one throughout the book and I think it would be easier to comprehend reading them in order. There is also a little section in the back, called Nathanial Flood's Guide to People, Places and Things, that I was impressed with; really it is a little glossary with some of the words that would probably be unfamiliar to many young readers. What a great idea! I would definitely recommend this book for families to read together or for young readers looking for a little adventure, though it would be a very quick read for an advanced middle reader.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a ripping, slightly advanced, chapter book adventure series featuring an engaging 10-year-old boy hero and a clever premise. Nathaniel is a Fludd, last in a very long line of explorers, mapmakers and beastologists - protectors of supposedly mythical or legendary creatures. Nate may be an orphan - his explorer parents supposedly disappeared in an Arctic sailing accident, but you never know about things like that and only time and more books in the series will tell. Nate has come into the care of Aunt Phil, who is an abrupt, high energy, cryptic but caring guardian. Nate had been something of a sheltered homebody, but under Aunt Phil's guidance that is all changing and one of the chief pleasures of this and later books is watching Nate grow into his adventuresome destiny.

Nathaniel Fludd is an endearing hero. Apparently timid he is clearly made of sterner stuff; it just needs to be drawn out and molded. In this volume we get to see him begin to step into his destiny as a Fludd, although that will take some coaxing. It is remarkably easy for a reader to identify with Nate and his natural charm. Between his appeal and the gripping exploits he encounters it is easy to see why this has become a very popular series.

The book is carried by a light but firm authorial touch. The stories zip along and only occasionally feel shallow or sketchy. There is enough narrative and depth to give the stories character and interest, but they are written directly and forthrightly in a style that plays nicely to an early reader's reading skills.

There are a lot of angles that add greatly to the book's appeal. The story is set in 1928, which lends itself to the slightly old-fashioned Boys Own flavor of the story.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I just love these books: children's fare with enough with and humor for any grownup to enjoy. Nathaniel Fludd is a young boy who is sure that he doesn't have what it takes to be a beastologist: a researcher who studies and helps to preserve those mythical beasts that most of us think to be only mythical. He and his delightful guardian, cousin Phil (Philomena) travel the world in her Sopwith Platypus to deal with all manner of beast-related emergencies, and this is his second major adventure. The basilisk is very dangerous, but we wouldn't want to destroy it unless absolutely necessary. Beastologists are rare, too, however, and Nate doesn't want to be destroyed either! Can he do his part to protect both the basilisk and the world? Read on, kids!

The book is about 100 pages, but it's generously illustrated, and young readers should find it to be well within their capabilities. If you have an imaginative child who doesn't think he (or she) likes to read, try reading the first chapter aloud and see what happens.
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