Saint Philomene's Infirmary for Magical Creatures

288p. Holt. Jan. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781627792578.
Gr 5–8—Twelve-year-old Chance was never one to miss an opportunity to explore. So when his shovel broke open an enormous clay pipe at the bottom of the largest hole ever dug in Starling, TX, of course he stuck his arm in it—and ended up catching a letter addressed to a patient in the Saint Philomene's Infirmary for Magical Creatures. The letter disclosed a dastardly plot at the infirmary that endangers thousands of patients and staff. Unfortunately for Chance, Saint Philomene's Infirmary for Magical Creatures does not like humans. After all, the first human to find them carried a virulent disease which spread and killed hundreds of creatures. Chance will soon find out that despite his good intentions, almost every creature in Saint Philomene's will think he is a hazard to their health, and they will do everything they can to stop him. Luckily, Chance's older sister Pauline is on his trail and determined to rescue her brother. Chance and Pauline repel and evade creatures of all kinds in the infirmary's underground labyrinth. Their high-stakes adventure will leave readers breathless.
VERDICT Nonstop action and a whacky hidden world with creatures both good and evil will make this a favorite for fantasy fans.

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