Cover image for The magnificent monsters of Cedar Street
Title:
The magnificent monsters of Cedar Street
ISBN:
9780062345073
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
xxxiv, 348 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Added Author:
Summary:
Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them. But their work must be kept a secret, others aren't welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call 'monsters'? One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared, along with nearly all the monsters. With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is). --
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Summary

Summary

From the bestselling author of E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book Liesl & Po comes a timely and relevant adventure story about monsters of all kinds--and a girl brave enough to save them.

Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them.

But their work must be kept secret--others aren't welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call "monsters"?

One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared--along with nearly all the monsters.

With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is).


Author Notes

Lauren Oliver (born Laura Schechter) was born in New York City in 1982. She received degrees in philosophy and literature from the University of Chicago in 2004. She graduated the MFA program at NYU in 2008. She worked briefly as an editorial assistant and an assistant editor at Razorbill, a division of Penguin Books. She left to become a full-time writer in 2009. Her first novel, Before I Fall, was published in 2010. Her other works include Delirium, Liesl and Po, and Pandemonium. Her title's Panic, Vanishing Girls and The Shrunken Head made The New York Times Best Seller List. She made the Hollywood Reporter's '25 Most Powerful Authors' 2016 list, entering at number 23.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4--6--Cordelia Clay lives in a world where monsters are real, and it is her father's job (and hers by proxy) to track down injured monsters to nurse them back to health. Her mother was the author of the definitive guide to natural monster history, but died in her attempt to prove her controversial theory that the two branches of monster evolution stemmed from the same root. When her father disappears it is down to Cordelia and, reluctantly on her part, Gregory, the homeless orphan whose zuppy (zombie puppy) she cured, to rescue him. Filled with a treasure trove of fascinating creatures, this Dickensian world is a treat to explore. It is also incredibly relatable, highlighting the paradox of great wealth among immense poverty and addressing themes of fear-mongering and the need for social change. The book begins with a comprehensive guide to the world's creatures that readers will turn to again and again. VERDICT Oliver's characters leap off the page and readers of all ages will find themselves eagerly rooting them on and clamoring for more as their story ends. Hand this to fans of adventure, magical creatures, and epic quests.--India Winslow, Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this thoughtful adventure set in the late 19th century, a girl who helps her veterinarian father to treat wounded monsters must locate her dad after he is apparently abducted--along with the myriad creatures living in their rambling Boston home. With little more than a threatening note to go on, Cordelia Clay, 12, and her newfound friend Gregory must track down the villain responsible in a world that doesn't know about the existence of dragons, zombie puppies, and their ilk, and treats social outcasts with cruelty. As Cordelia and Gregory's quest takes them to a traveling circus in New York, a Canadian university, and back home, they find a terrifying threat to monsters everywhere while exploring the idea that "the monsters people name are not the real danger... it's the monsters who name themselves that you really have to watch out for." Oliver's (Broken Things) marvelous historical fantasy hits just the right tone of sincerity and whimsy; alongside weighty themes "of violence, of hatred, of cages and isolation," an excerpt from A Guide to Monsters and Their Habits describes many of the beasties in enough detail to ground the premise and bring the monsters to life, and occasional illustrations by Aldridge (Estranged) give a realistically fantastic feel to the meaningful text. Ages 8--12. (Feb.)


Horn Book Review

Monsters are real in this version of early-twentieth-century Boston, but most people have no idea that they exist. Cordelia Clay is one of the few acquainted with filches, alicanti, and growrks (a lengthy monster guide opens the novel), and she secretly helps her veterinarian father care for injured ones at their Beacon Hill home. When her father and most of the monsters disappear, Cordelia sets out to rescue them with the help of Gregory, a local boy who recently acquired a zombie puppy; a filch, which makes its way in the world via flatulence; and a baby dragon that had been living in Cordelias oven. Their clues take them to New York and Canada before bringing them back to Boston, where an anti-monster activist threatens everything they hold dear. Though Oliver keeps the action-driven plot moving quickly, there is introspection as well, particularly regarding Cordelias relationships with her late mother (a scientist who died while researching monster evolution) and her former best friend Elizabeth (who has monster-related secrets of her own). Olivers wordplay is often clever (the daylightwas starting to seep across the cluttered countertops like the drool of a Mattahorn salivus), and her collection of monsters is creative and thorough. Cordelia and Gregory face instances of peril that are exciting without feeling too dangerous, and the books secondary characters, both human and monster, add much to the story. Sarah Rettger January/February 2020 p.94(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

Cordelia Clay helps her father, Cornelius, rescue injured and endangered monsters, restoring them to health in the ramshackle family mansion; when her father and the monsters disappear, she sets out to find them.Gregory, a homeless orphan whose sick zombie puppya zuppyshe cured, insists on joining Cordelia's dangerous quest. The baby dragon with a broken wing and the elderly filch found hidden in the oven can't be left behind, either, as those aware that monsters do exist advocate exterminating them. Traveling by foot, rail, hot air balloon, andafter Cordelia resolves a pixie infestationsailing ship, the children flee across Boston, seek out a Manhattan circus featuring monsters, and visit a Nova Scotia university, encountering anxious monsters posing as humans along the way. In this grimy, Dickensian world, an alternate-history Gilded Age, vast wealth coexists with grinding poverty and fear of the other runs deep: Where fear rules, difference is the enemy. Cordelia's mother, author of a definitive natural history of monsters, held more benign views, convinced that the two evolutionary branches, Animalia (ours) and Prodigia (monsters), were relatives sharing a common origin, but died before proving her theory. While resourceful Cordelia and stalwart Gregory are good company, the monsters are standouts, manifesting, like all animals, unique natural attributes and proclivities (described in a comprehensive guide). Charming or alarming, these creatures and their world, rendered in abundant, imaginative detail, beg for further exploration. (Human characters seem to be white in Aldridge's woodcutlike illustrations.)Enchanting. (Fantasy. 8-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.