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Menagerie #1

The Menagerie

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series, Tui T. Sutherland, and her sister, Kari Sutherland, comes the Menagerie series, perfect for fans of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

In the small town of Xanadu, Wyoming lies the Menagerie, a top secret facility filled with unicorns, dragons, phoenixes, and other fairy tale creatures. At least, it was a secret—until six griffin cubs escaped.

If Logan and Zoe don’t get the cubs back fast, the entire Menagerie will be shut down. The race is on and the resulting adventure is only the beginning of a thrilling series that will leave readers wanting a magical menagerie of their very own.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published March 12, 2013

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About the author

Tui T. Sutherland

128 books4,809 followers
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Tui? What kind of name is that? Is it short for something?

Nope. Among the many great things to come out of New Zealand (the Lord of the Rings movies, cats that paint, my mom) is a bird called the tui—not as well known as the kiwi, but a heck of a lot noisier!

I was born July 31 (same birthday as Harry Potter!) in Caracas, Venezuela, and lived in Asuncion, Paraguay; Miami, Florida; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before moving to New Jersey in high school, where I started doing theatre—mostly backstage work, because (a) it was fun, and (b) you got to hang out in the dark with cute boys. (Er, I mean . . . because it was artistically fulfilling, yes.)

I graduated from Williams College in ’98 and I currently live in Boston with my husband, my perfect new baby, and my adorable yoodle Sunshine (what’s a yoodle? A puppy that’s three-quarters poodle and one-quarter Yorkshire terrier, of course!).

Much to my parents’ relief, I abandoned my theatrical aspirations after college for the far more stable and lucrative career of fiction writing.

My first two official books were beginning readers, part of Grosset & Dunlap’s “First Friends” series for kids learning to read. MEET MO AND ELLA is tough to find now, but FUN WITH MO AND ELLA should still be out there somewhere.

My first novel for teenagers was THIS MUST BE LOVE, which retells Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a modern-day high school, from the POV of the two heroines, Hermia and Helena.

And now I'm writing in a new project called SEEKERS! It's a children's book series that I'm writing with Erin Hunter. Check out my blog to find out more!

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5 stars
2,918 (49%)
4 stars
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3 stars
848 (14%)
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61 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 517 reviews
Profile Image for Bookishrealm.
2,085 reviews5,067 followers
October 22, 2020
Not as good as the Wings of Fire series, but still an enjoyable read

I was really excited to read this one because I'm a huge fan of the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland. That series is epic. This book was definitely a little on the different side. It's about a boy, Logan, who discovers that there are magical creatures that exist in something like a zoo. However, he's not supposed to know that these creatures of the menagerie exist. When he discovers a griffin that has gone missing, he then offer to help Zoe (a keeper of the menagerie) find the rest of them before they have to go through inspection again. This book was literally about them finding the griffins and that was it. It didn't really feel as though there was much else happening outside of that. And that's perfectly fine if you're not looking for a "multi" plot type of book. However, I think I built certain expectations from reading her other books so this one fell a little flat for me. I did enjoy learning about all of the various mythical creatures that lived at the menagerie. There were some that I was familiar with and others that were first time introductions.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the role of that friendship played among the main characters. They learned to rely on each other and each character brought certain strengths to the table which helped during the journey. I also enjoyed the writing; however, I had some issues with the changes in narration. It felt as though I was getting a change in the internal thoughts of characters in the middle of the chapter. Some times that made it hard to keep up. I almost wish they would have done alternating chapters of perspective instead. Overall, it was a good book. I wouldn't recommend this one over her other series, but it was a solid middle grade book.
Profile Image for Josie Funk.
30 reviews8 followers
March 21, 2017
What a captivating book! I must admit, when I plucked The Menagerie off the library shelves, I was not expecting to enjoy it quite this much. It's rare, nowdays, to find a book that makes me lose track of time, but this one did it three consecutive nights in a row.

This book is split between protagonists Logan and Zoe. Logan Wilde is the new kid in Xanadu, Wyoming, from the big city Chicago, and it's a refreshing change that Logan, unlike most new kids, actually likes the small town better. He and his father moved into town in search of Logan's mother, who seemingly "ditched her family via postcard." But instead of finding his mother, Logan finds adventure, magic - and the Menagerie.

Zoe Kahn is, as the book puts it, "The weirdest girl in class", which isn't hard when she's constantly frazzled, anxious, and keeping secrets. Her family owns and manages The Menagerie, a safe haven for magical creatures. The Menagerie is Zoe's love and life, but while she wouldn't trade it for the world, that doesn't stop it from giving her headaches. When six griffin cubs go missing - possibly on her watch - she's frantic to find them before their absence causes Government Inspectors (SNAPA) to shut down the Menagerie for good. Logan's curiosity, and aptitude for animals both magical and non, might be just what she needs.

I love when children's books start off with genuine conflict and real mystery. Middle grade books that aren't afraid to shy away from addressing real problems and emotions are so much better than those that try to talk down to the audience. The conflict is all interpersonal, too; the threat of the Menagerie closing is all framed through Logan and Zoe's eyes, and their fear of losing things and relationships important to them. The threat of humans discovering magical creatures is significant because it might cause harm to the magical creatures Zoe and Logan love so much, not because of how magic would shake up or change society.

Even in the subplots, the drama is kept personal. Zoe is not bullied for her "weirdness", and Logan's status as a black protagonist creates exactly 0% racial drama -- both of which would be typical or cliche go-to's to increase tension, from a writer's perspective. Sutherland didn't need those because there were more compelling complications to fall back on, like Zoe's isolation, or Logan's absent mother. I respect that.

Mystery was a strong presence in the book as well. Whether it was the menagerie itself, finding the griffin cubs, or uncovering backstory and relationships, the book was always finding new ground to explore and new questions to ask. Probably what made the plot so captivating in the first place.

The book also has plenty of interesting characters, both human and magical. Zoe's family is big and the Menagerie is huge, and despite the character roster, we are introduced to it at a reasonable pace rather than having the whole cast dumped on us at once. (Looking at you, 'Bliss' by Katherine Littlewood.) Because 'The Menagerie' introduces characters at a reasonable pace, and always keeps the personal drama of the main characters in focus, the whole book and all its characters feel more fleshed out than if they were dropped on us during exposition. And though we only saw a handful of magical creatures - (they withheld the dragons from me, dangit!) those that appeared in the book each felt like a small story in and of themselves.

In short, The Menagerie has a strong set of protagonists, a colorful array of characters, an interesting world of magic and fantasy creatures, and a firm grasp of mystery that I deeply enjoyed.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series when I get my hands on them. (Only 3 so far, but I can hope.) I think I'll also pick up "Fablehaven" on my next library visit, since many people seem to draw comparisons between the two. Looks like I might have a couple of good books in my future.
Profile Image for April.
2,101 reviews950 followers
April 8, 2013
If you are currently in the market for a fun-filled middle grade read filled with fantastical creatures, The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland might just be your ticket. I found this book by the sisters Sutherland engaging and magical. That’s not to mention the humor, appropriate for a 12 year old, yet also the jokes inside made this adult laugh along too. Griffins, unicorns, golden geese and more make appearances in The Menagerie, a book that’s mostly about friendships – old and new.
Read the rest of my review here
Link goes live 4/18/13
Profile Image for Ana S..
15 reviews
July 13, 2022
Really nice book! Different than what I expected, but a good kind of different! :D
Profile Image for Jasmine.
250 reviews330 followers
July 18, 2014
There comes a time in someones life when you realize you're too old to appreciate the mindless fun you can have with children's fiction. Yeah... I think I've reached that point...
Profile Image for Katy.
268 reviews64 followers
July 4, 2019
This book was just so cute. It was exactly the kind of book I would have loved when I was younger and I absolutely loved it as an adult. What better compliment for a middle-grade book is there?

Logan recently moved to Xanadu, Wyoming with his father, who is a wildlife conservationist. Logan's father chose Xanadu because he is determined to find Logan's mother who up and disappeared years ago but recently sent a postcard from Wyoming. Logan is having a hard time making friends at school but all of that changes when he wakes up to find a griffin cub in his room and it turns out that he can understand him. The griffin cub leads him to the Menagerie, a huge secret zoo/preservation for mythical creatures. It turns out that the Menagerie is run by his classmate Zoe's family and there is an entire world he knew nothing about. Logan, Zoe, and Blue (who has a special connection to the Menagerie) have to find the other five griffin cubs before they are discovered and the Menagerie is shut down.

This book was just so much fun. I don't care that I'm an adult, I still enjoy well written MG books. I REGRET NOTHING. This is a book about friendship, fitting in, the family dynamics after divorce, and abandonment. Well, and also haughty unicorns, a diva goose (who can lay golden eggs), an overdramatic Pheonix, an abominable snowman who drives a golf cart, and homicidal kelpie. I mean, what more could you want? It was such a delightful, quick read. I read it in one sitting and when it ended, I might have said something like THAT'S IT???? Fortunately it's a series, and there are two other books already out. It was great escapism and a fun way to pass a few hours.

Profile Image for Marieke.
120 reviews28 followers
February 9, 2022

Oh this was so cute! A zoo of mythical creatures would have been my favorite concept as a child if I'd ever thought of it, I can totally see how this series is loved. Also, Blue is such a sweet character! Even if the rest of the series sucked I would still read it just to read more about him.
The choice to make all the creatures able to talk was a bit meh and made it very very childish (yes it //is// a children's book but the best children's books are enjoyable for all ages). Also some of the dialogue between the adults was a bit too unbelievable and the book felt a bit empty, if that makes sense. Like it lacked some details and depth. But other than that I just really enjoyed it and it made me feel warm inside.
Profile Image for Jennisen.
116 reviews
April 4, 2015
Fantastical Nature Preserve of Mythical Creatures in WYOMING?!? Yes, please! This book is a very fun story of Logan, who moved into Xanadu, Wyoming from Chicago. One of the few African-American children in his "one horse" town, Logan is amazed to find a griffin in his bedroom. This, of course, launches him into an amazing adventure with new friends and a new understanding of himself and his mother!
Profile Image for Kenzie Baker.
81 reviews2 followers
September 20, 2023
This was a great book. The mythical creatures were really cool, and my favorite part was when Zoe saved Logan from the Kelpie. My favorite character was Zoe. The part that surprised me most was when they figured out that Logan’s mom was a SNAPA agent, since I thought that his dad was going to be a SNAPA agent since he was always gone from the house and said he worked in the wildlife department. Overall, I liked this book and am excited to read the next book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alan.
295 reviews8 followers
September 30, 2013
ATOS Book Level: 4.6
Interest Level: Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points: 8.0
Lexile: 710L
Word Count: 56082

A great book especially for anyone who has become interested in magical creatures elsewhere, for example Percy Jackson.
Logan Wilde's mom has "ditched them via postcard". His father has moved them away out of Chicago and to the wilds of Xanadu, Wyoming, and Logan for the most part is happy with the move, except for missing "the deep-dish pizza smell that hung around his block".
He comes home from school one day to find a griffin cub hiding under his bed. Soon after he finds out that hidden outside of town is a Menagerie of magical creatures, unicorns, dragons, phoenixes and more. It turns out that the griffin cub he finds is one of 6 that went missing. The family that runs the Menagerie is desperate to find the cubs. No one in the town knows about the Menagerie and to make matters worse SNAPA (the agency that regulates the various Menageries around the world) is coming in a few days for an inspection. If it's found out the cubs are missing, the Menagerie will be shut down, and many of the animals killed. Logan is caught up, and helps with the search for the cubs.
Profile Image for Connor.
693 reviews1,659 followers
December 9, 2015
[3.5 Stars]

I think this book accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do. It is merely a fun, exciting adventure of some kids trying to track down six escaped griffin cubs. It's not really anything more than that which is totally okay. The creatures were all up to par with how Tui Sutherland did her dragons in Wings of Fire, and I enjoyed seeing her take on them. The griffin cubs were actually hilarious, and the unicorns were fantastic. I like that they made the kraken more accurate to its myths and not Hollywood's version. I think this novel also taught me some more obscure mythological creatures from other parts of the globe I'm not as familiar with like some magical birds from Asia. The plot is for the most part predictable, but for the intended audience of lower middle grade? I think it's the perfect amount of mystery that will allow children to make their predictions and get some of them correct. The ending is a bit, like, what? But I'll hopefully be continuing on soon to find out what happens next. Also, I read this in one sitting, I was that addicted to the story.
Profile Image for Elwen.
589 reviews47 followers
March 14, 2017
Beim Wegräumen ins Bücherregal wollte ich hier nur mal kurz reinlesen... 2 Stunden später hatte sich das Einräumen erledigt und das Buch kam direkt auf den aktuellen Lesestapel.
Es macht einfach Laune sich mit den sympathischen Charakteren ins Abenteuer rund um die magische Menagerie zu stürzen. Die Greifenbabys sind so herzig und während der Suche nach ihnen gibt es soviel zu entdecken, dass der "nur noch ein Kapitel"-Effekt sofort einsetzt. Allerdings sollte man nicht vergessen, dass es sich um ein Kinderbuch handelt und nicht alle Twists überraschend sind. Lässt man sich darauf aber ein, gibt es eine Menge Lesespass und mit dem Cliffhanger am Ende eine neue Reihe in deren nächsten Teil ich unbedingt mal kurz reinlesen muss ;-)
10 reviews
March 10, 2021
histoire passionnante avec du suspense et de l aventure.
Profile Image for ShingetsuMoon.
733 reviews20 followers
February 17, 2017
This is a fantastic middle grade book filled with mythical creatures that kids, teens and adults will love.

Logan is a young African-American boy who has recently moved from Chicago to Wyoming with his dad after his mother left with little more then a postcard to say goodbye. His otherwise calm life is interrupted when he wakes up one morning to find large bird feathers scattered across his bedroom floor. This starts a chain of similarly strange findings until he comes home to find a griffin cub in his room.

In an effort to return the creature back to where it belongs he comes across The Menagerie, a special preserve made to house mythical beasts and keep them safe from the rest of the world.

Unfortunately there are still more griffin Cubs loose on the town and in danger of being discovered. Logan is allowed to stay and help and proves to be quite skilled at tracking down the young griffin cubs.

Seeing the other mythical creatures was made more interesting by the fact that all, or most of them at least, are intelligent and able to communicate with Logan and with the people in charge of keeping The Menagerie up and running.

There was nothing too suspenseful or dangerous to see in this book which is not always the case with some middle grade novels.

This was a very fun book aided by the fact that I love mythical creatures myself. Plenty of kids love fantasy and this is a book sure to capture their attention and imagination.

Adults like myself who enjoy reading middle grade novels occasionally will also find this to be a fun book that is well worth reading.

Profile Image for Ethan Buchman.
4 reviews2 followers
February 20, 2018
It was an amazing book, it was about a boy named Logan who lives an average life until he meets a little baby griffin. From that point on, his life was changed he now hung out with friends who’s parents are guardians of a town or city full of mythical creatures. But they lost all remaining griffins and Logan needs to find them. Will he do it? READ TO FIND OUT.
Profile Image for Wendy.
515 reviews13 followers
October 5, 2017
Read this as a Battle of the Books choice at work. For me, it took a little while to get going. I was trying to figure out the relationships between Blue, Zoe and Logan. Once the adventure began and they introduced the animals in the Menagerie, the story moved along quickly. My favorite parts of the book were when Logan first meets the magical animals - unicorns, a Phoenix, and the goose that lays golden eggs to name a few.
Profile Image for Evelyn Evertsen-Romp.
1,282 reviews68 followers
August 5, 2021
Wat leest dit verhaal lekker vlot weg, en wat zit het leuk in elkaar. Echt een aanrader voor tienjarigen die een goed fantasy boek zoeken.
17 reviews1 follower
July 28, 2021
Honestly, I think this book is an amazing book. This book executes cliffhangers, dramatic moments, and it does a good job of making characters different. The setting (Menagerie) is creative, the characters' personalities are unique, and there are a lot suspenseful moments. Although this book is one of the best I've ever read, it's got a couple problems as well, which is the reason it's not 5 stars.

My first complaint is that the book's story goes on too fast.
For example, when they look for the cubs, I think they find them too quickly. It would be great if the author could add more moments of suspense, and instead of letting them get rid of the problem quickly, it would be more fun if the plan goes wrong. That way, the suspense will be lifted and the book will be more enjoyable.

My second complaint is that there is only a few problems in the book, and the minor problems end quickly.
In this book, the main problem is the missing cubs. It would be amazing if new animals start disappearing often, to let the reader think "How will this problem be solved?". This way the reader will be more engaged in the book and will always have fun reading the book.

Overall, this is an amazing book that could be improved a little. I would recommend this book to those wanting a quick and fun story.
Profile Image for Christine Picard.
Author 2 books80 followers
January 12, 2020
Très cute. C’est mignon, les personnages sont attachants et les créatures fantastiques ont toutes un caractère bien particulier. J’ai terminé ma lecture en ayant bien envie de connaître la suite, même si je sais que je ne la lirai probablement pas (le public est plutôt 8-9 ans, soit un peu plus jeune que ce que je lis habituellement).
Profile Image for Laura.
902 reviews23 followers
December 13, 2019
Fort sympathique. Je pensais que ce serait trop classique/barbant, mais en réalité les auteurs ont su trouver une façon de traiter le sujet des créatures fantastiques de façon passionnante !
Profile Image for Katey BC.
65 reviews33 followers
September 19, 2021
I only read/listened to this book because it's set in Wyoming. My home state, while not perfect especially with the current right wing political extremism taking over the state government, I have noticed that if the author/playwright/whatever creative minded person is not from the state, they tend to get it wrong and only add to Wyoming's not great-ness in the minds of others.

First: the basic premise is really great! I love the idea that Wyoming is so hidden from the rest of the world that it's the best place to keep the largest zoo of mythical creatures. On that I wholeheartedly support Sutherland choosing Wyoming as the location. I applaud Sutherland in her pointing out that Logan Wilde would have felt physically incapable of blending in, as one of only two black kids in his grade (and more likely one of two black families in the whole town).

Now here are my issues with the book because I was born and raised in Wyoming:
1. there is no town named Xanadu (yes I KNOW that some artistic license is to be expected, but come on! There is no town that even sounds close! And Wyoming has a lot of odd/quirky named towns already! There's Chugwater, Wheatland, Rock Springs-if all of those don't sound like badly planned government cover ups, I don't know what does!) If Sutherland wanted to create a new town, she should have tried to keep it similar to the naming tradition: Cheyenne, Buffalo, Laramie, etc. (the French, Cheyenne, Crow, or Arapaho languages have been used before, and could have been a great resource to name a new town that wouldn't have sounded so out of place).
2. I'm going to go out on a leap here and say that Sutherland grew up in a fairly large town, so I doubt that she'd know this next bit (but I will, since my graduating class was 42 students large) but, there is no way to keep a secret in a small town. In the book she says that Logan, Zoe, and Blue's class consists of 27 students. THERE IS NO WAY THAT NOT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE STUDENTS KNEW ABOUT THE MENAGERIE! I offer for proof this personal example: My mother (who was at work at the time 30 miles away) knew I was dating my high school boyfriend before I even finished the drama rehearsal when we started dating. There is no way that the menagerie wouldn't have been a source of town pride or consternation. But EVERYONE would have known about it.
3. A small town in Wyoming would not have had a multiple story library, or a post office with columns in front of it.

I know that if this book had been set in any other state I would have been able to suspend my disbelief more to more thoroughly enjoy the story, but I couldn't so I didn't. I probably won't read/listen to the rest of the series, not that others won't enjoy it, but it just left me with a headache.
Profile Image for Joey.
339 reviews2 followers
March 30, 2018
Fantastic book. Recommended to me by my ten year old, I avoided reading it for a couple of months and now cannot imagine why. The plot is in the same vein as lots of other kid books, but it still felt fresh and new, and the writing was really enjoyable to me. I loved and identified with all the major characters, at least in some way, and it never slowed its pace. Will be reading the second book in this series very soon.
Profile Image for Scott.
159 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2018
Wow what a way to start a series. whether you are young or old you will enjoy this fantastic read . I literally could not put it down . Thank you for the fun fast moving adventure. I can not wait to start the next one
Profile Image for Trisha Davis.
32 reviews1 follower
May 8, 2021
I highflying recommend this book. It was such a fast and fun read. I think everyone would love it because who doesn’t love mythical creatures? I want to work at the menagerie just like the characters in this story. I love the griffin Cubs so much and the snobby unicorns lol
Profile Image for Kimmy’s books journey.
199 reviews1 follower
July 23, 2020
Everything I like: good friendship, adventure, mystery, fantastic beasts and of course a bit of humor.
Great beginning for this trilogy ❤️
Profile Image for Erika Hayes.
380 reviews3 followers
February 17, 2022
Cute story. I usually enjoy books like this so it was of course a good read for me. The characters aren't very deep yet, but I imagine they will be more so by the end of the series.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 517 reviews

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