Creatures Great and Small Book Recs

By: Shanleigh Klassen

Books that feature mythical beasts are some of the most exciting stories around. Who hasn’t dreamed of having a dragon, or a unicorn, or even a selkie as a companion? In August’s MYTHICAL BEASTS featured book, our protagonist comes face-to-face with creatures straight out of mythology in an exciting, potentially world-ending adventure.

**Curious to know what book we’re featuring next month? Check out our spoiler page HERE, but beware! SPOILER ALERT!**

Read on to discover (or re-discover) six more book recommendations featuring mythical beasts and creatures!

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru has a tendency to stretch the truth. While her classmates are jetting off to exotic locales, she's spending her break in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. Then one day Aru is dared by three schoolmates to light the supposedly cursed Lamp of Bharata. But by lighting the lamp, Aru unwittingly frees an ancient demon who will awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem Mahabharata and journey through the Kingdom of Death, encountering all sorts of creatures from across Hindu mythology. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?


Alliana, Girl of Dragons by Julie Abe

Once upon a time, Alliana believed in dreams and wished on shooting stars, sure that someday she and her grandmother would travel to the capital city to see the queen. Then her grandmother passed away, and now Alliana’s forced to attend to the whims of her wicked stepmother. That is until she meets two beings who change her life forever — the first is a young nightdragon who Alliana discovers she can magically talk to. And the second is Nela, a young witch. Inspired by the Japanese Cinderella story and set in the same world as the Eva Evergreen series, Alliana will seize the chance to break free from her stepmother and chase after her own, better-than-a-fairy-tale happily ever after.


Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A. F. Steadman

Skandar has always yearned to leave the Mainland and escape to the secretive Island where wild unicorns roam free. He’s spent years studying for his Hatchery exam, the annual test that selects a handful of Mainlanders to become unicorn riders. But on the day of Skandar’s exam, things go horribly wrong, and his hopes are shattered . . . until a mysterious figure knocks on his door at midnight, bearing a message: the Island is in peril and Skandar must answer its call. Skandar is thrust into a world of epic sky battles, dangerous clashes with wild unicorns, and rumors of a shadowy villain amassing a unicorn army. As Skandar grows closer to his newfound friends and community of riders, he discovers their lives may all be in graver danger than he ever imagined.


Shinji Takahashi and the Mark of the Coatl by Julie Kagawa

Shinji is just an ordinary homeschooled smart-alecky orphan kid being raised by his aunt Yui. But when a magical guardian decides to use him as a conduit to awaken its power, Shinji’s life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Captured by the menacing Hightower Corporation, bent on using the guardian’s magic for its own nefarious purposes, Shinji teams up with a brilliant young tech whiz named Lucy and her robot mouse, Tinker, to escape the Corporation’s evil clutches. Together Shinji and Lucy turn to the venerable Society of Explorers and Adventurers and its ragtag cast of spelunkers, hackers, mapmakers, pilots, and mythology experts (among other things) to return the guardian to its rightful home and release Shinji from its magic.


The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

An OwlCrate Jr fave! Ella is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, where Marvellers from all around the world come together to practice their cultural arts like brewing Indian spice elixirs, practicing Caribbean steel drum hypnosis, and bartering with fussy Irish faeries, to mention only a few. Quickly, Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy, and not all of the Marvellers are welcoming. Still, she connects with fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, who is never found without a magical creature or two. But then a notorious criminal escapes from prison, supposedly with Conjurors’ help. As tensions grow, Ella and her friends must find a way to clear her family's name before she loses her place at the Institute forever.


City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

Characters and creatures from the Epic of Gilgamesh populate this high-stakes contemporary adventure. Sik wants a simple life going to school and helping at his parents' deli in the evenings. But all that is blown to smithereens when Nergal comes looking for him, thinking that Sik holds the secret to eternal life. Turns out Sik is immortal but doesn't know it, and that's about to get him and the entire city into deep, deep trouble. Sik's not in this alone. He's got Belet, the adopted daughter of Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, on his side, and a former hero named Gilgamesh, who has taken up gardening in Central Park. Now all they have to do is retrieve the Flower of Immortality to save Manhattan from being wiped out by disease. To succeed, they'll have to conquer sly demons, treacherous gods, and their own darkest nightmares.

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