Author: Garrett, Ginger
Thirteen-year-old cancer survivor Sofia has been chosen as the next Guardian of a book called The Bestiary, an ancient text. Drawn into violent and unpredictable mysteries, Sofia learns that these misunderstood monsters from the book are in danger and she is the only one who can save them.
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/16)
School Library Journal (02/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2016 Gr 5–8—Thirteen-year-old Sofia has always felt like an outsider, with her bristly hair and unremarkable face. But now she feels it even more acutely, ever since surviving cancer and receiving a prosthetic leg. When she returns to school, she feels distanced from her former best friend Alexis and she's tired of everyone pretending to be nice to her. Then there's the cute new boy, Billy, who sees something fierce inside of her. One day, a book suddenly appears, and through it, Sofia begins to communicate with Xeno, the last living student of Aristotle. She becomes the Guardian, protector of monsters. There is always a Guardian, and it is always a child. She learns that monsters are real and that she must take care of them all, despite the fact that some of them are not cute or good. The monsters, while very real in the context of the story, also represent the insecurities and trauma Sofia feels. While the fantastical elements are compelling, it's the real-world situations that make this book stand out. The references to Greek mythology could have been better fleshed out and established. VERDICT Though Sofia's frequent philosophizing about the nature of good and evil, reality and fantasy, might be a bit much for average middle grade readers, this is a perfect recommendation for introspective kids who feel like outsiders.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.