The Mystic Phyles book cover image

The Mystic Phyles: Beasts

  • 1595

By: Stephanie Brockway / Illustrated by: Ralph Masiello

Will Abigail pursue top-secret knowledge at all costs or choose a path of safety?
Her decision could bring eternal glory . . . or certain doom!

Abigail Thaddeus is aware of her borderline geek status--which only keeps her secretly yearning for a life of fame and adventure. But as an eighth-grader in the tiny town of Westbrook, tucked away in her grandparents' ramshackle old mansion, her chances for glory are slim. That is, until she discovers a mysterious letter that launches her on an undercover quest to research mythical beasts.

With the help of her best friend, Charley, Abigail unearths little-known facts about mythical creatures, from the familiar unicorn to the bizarre bonnacon. The more she learns, the more she finds that all is not as it may seem. When a threatening letter arrives, the lines between fact and fiction and excitement and danger begin to cross. Pop, her overly-strict grandfather, and Ninny, her nutty grandmother, may both be part of a reality more complicated and mystical than Abigail ever imagined.

In this scrapbook-style journal, Abigail's quest to investigate mythical beasts is full of adventure, mishap, spunky humor, colorful sketches, and historically based research.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Stephanie Brockway, author

Stephanie Brockway collaborated with illustrator Ralph Masiello on her debut novel, The Mystic Phyles: Beasts. She grew up in Massena, New York, a small town on the Canadian border that often wins the distinction of being the coldest spot in the US. She is a magazine art director, a job that inspired her reverence for the marriage of beautifully crafted words and pictures. Stephanie lives in West Brookfield, Massachusetts.

Read more about Stephanie.

Ralph Masiello, illustrator

Ralph Masiello—affectionately known as 'The Icky Bug Man'—has illustrated several children's books including The Icky Bug Alphabet Book, The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book, and The Flag We Love. His oil paintings are remarkably rich and realistic and bring to life the subjects of his books—be they bugs, flags, dinosaurs, or well-hidden messages and secret drawings.

Read more about Ralph.

Awards & Honors:

  • Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
  • PSLA Young Adult Top 40, fiction

Editorial Reviews:


Presented as the journal of Abigail Thaddeus, this title is complete with drawings, snapshots, clippings, and maps. After her parents' deaths, Abigail has gone to live wiht her overprotective grandparents in a creaky old house in a very small town. She is picked on in school and is generally miserable, but her dull life gets a lift when she is visisted by a cat that carries mysterious messages. The messages contain assignments for Abigail; she is required to find information about the world's mythical creatures. She soon enlists the help of her sole friend, Charley. After a dangerous encounter with some poisonous bats, Abigail learns that her grandfather is the leader of a secret group that tries to control mystical creatures that actually exist in the shadowy corners of the world. Abigail's journal ends with the promise that more adventures will come, which will be good news for readers, who will finds this effort both lighthearted and suspenseful.


ISBN: 978-1-57091-718-9

ISBN: 978-1-60734-310-3 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 9-12
Page count: 144
6 x 9

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