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).
About the Author
Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the President of Production.
She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica and Lauren's bestselling first novel, Before I Fall, were acquired by Awesomeness Films. Before I Fall was adapted into a major motion picture starring Zoey Deutch. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, garnering a wide release from Open Road Films that year.
Oliver is a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee for her middle-grade novel Liesl & Po, as well as author of the middle-grade fantasy novel The Spindlers and The Curiosity House series, co-written with H.C. Chester. She has written one novel for adults, Rooms.
Oliver co-founded Glasstown Entertainment with poet and author Lexa Hillyer. Since 2010, the company has developed and sold more than fifty-five novels for adults, young adults, and middle-grade readers. Some of its recent titles include the New York Times bestseller Everless, by Sara Holland; the critically acclaimed Bonfire, authored by the actress Krysten Ritter; and The Hunger by Alma Katsu, which received multiple starred reviews and was praised by Stephen King as “disturbing, hard to put down” and “not recommended…after dark.”
Oliver is a narrative consultant for Illumination Entertainment and is writing features and TV shows for a number of production companies and studios.
Oliver received an academic scholarship to the University of Chicago, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from New York University.
“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... 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.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Oliver’s imaginative story combines exquisite descriptions with a spirited narrative, and readers will delight in the quirky creatures and settings."
— ALA Booklist
"Oliver’s 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 give a realistically fantastic feel to the meaningful text."
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Oliver retains a keen sense for the emotional dynamics of pre-adolescent girl friendships. The recurring meditations on the true nature of monstrosity and the unjust devaluing of lives may offer routes into timely conversations about the lives our own time devalues."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Oliver’s wordplay is often clever (“the daylight…was 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 book’s secondary characters, both human and monster, add much to the story.”
— Horn Book Magazine
"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."
— School Library Journal (starred review)