The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver
English | 2020 | Children’s > Middle Grade| ePUB | 5.3 MB
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).
Dr. Clay kneeled so he was face-to-face with Cordelia. The lantern lit up the crags and hollows of his cheeks, and the web of lines around his eyes. Cordelia experienced a sudden shock: her dad was growing old. “I know things aren’t always . . . easy for you,” he said quietly. “I blame myself for that. If you hadn’t grown up among so many monsters—”
“I love the monsters,” she interjected.
He smiled. But his smile didn’t reach all the way to his eyes, and once again Cordelia had the impression that he was anxious about something. “I know you do,” he said. When he was very serious, the Scottish accent that had trailed him all the way from Glasgow grew warmer and richer, rolling his vowels and consonants together. “But people can be cruel. They are afraid of what they don’t understand.” He put two fingers under Cordelia’s chin. “You’re too old to be brawling in the street. At St. George’s—”
“I’m not going to St. George’s,” Cordelia said, for what felt like the hundredth time.
Even the mention of St. George’s filled her with a vague panic, an image of coffin-like rooms and a thousand girls, all of them as cruel as Elizabeth Perkins, all of them laughing at her.
Her father shook his head, but he let the subject drop. “You have to learn to control your temper, Cordelia. That’s part of growing up.”
“Maybe I don’t want to grow up,” Cordelia fired back.
She expected her dad to yell at her, but instead he just sighed again. He stood up slowly, wincing, as though even his bones hurt.
“We all grow up, Cordelia,” he said, in a strange voice. “The world changes. We have to change along with it.”
She knew he was talking about more than her fight with Henry Haddock, but before she could ask him to explain, he was walking again.
The wind sounded like distant voices, howling and whispering and sighing by turns, and the rain felt like a fine spray of glass against Cordelia’s skin. At one point, she was sure that she heard footsteps behind her and turned, hefting her lantern. A man with glittering shark eyes, a sharp beak of a nose, and neatly parted hair was moving through the mist.
Cordelia started to call out to her father, but then the man turned down a bend in the path and was gone.
Cornelius Clay was unusually quiet. Normally, when they were on the trail of a monster, he told Cordelia stories about the world when it was young: a time when the hills of Scotland, where Cornelius had lived until he was twelve, had been packed so densely with werewolves it was death to go out after dark; when phoenix birds warmed their feathers by the high noon sun; when magic and monsters were everywhere. But now he responded to her questions with a grunt, or not at all. She wondered whether he was angry with her.