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About The Book

The creatures of legend are real—and it’s up to twins Zac and Lu to save them in this fun-filled middle grade adventure perfect for fans of Fablehaven and The Hotel Between.

Twins Zac and Lu grew up on their mother’s stories of the Wildewoods, an imaginary land where mythical beasts roam free. These creatures fill the pages of Zac’s sketchbooks and inspire Lu’s love of animals, and on most days, they’re the only thing the twins have in common.

When their mother dies, a heartbroken Lu and Zac are shipped off to England to spend the summer with relatives they’ve never met. But it doesn’t take the twins long to uncover the incredible secret tucked away in the forest behind their ancestral home: their mother’s wonderful tales about unicorns and dragons and centaurs weren’t make-believe after all. Their family serves as keepers of the Wildewoods, the last place on earth where these mythical creatures can live safe from human harm.

But there are also many dangers in these lands—as well as a terrible curse. When Zac and Lu fall victim to it, their only hope is finding the very last living phoenix left in the world. But will breaking the curse mean the end of the Wildewoods?

About The Author

Aimée Carter is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the author of over a dozen books. After two successful fantasy series for young adults, she turned her attention to middle grade readers with Simon Thorn, now a #1 internationally bestselling series under the name Animox. Visit her at

Why We Love It

“A bright and wondrous portal fantasy that captures the awe of your favorite creatures of legend, mixed with the heart of two siblings learning to come together after suffering a terrible loss.”

—Karen W., VP, Editorial Director, on Curse of the Phoenix

Product Details

  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (June 8, 2021)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534478466
  • Grades: 3 - 7
  • Ages: 8 - 12
  • Lexile ® 810L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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Raves and Reviews

"A harmonious mix of lighter fantasy elements and the more somber portrayal of the family’s grieving process....An imaginative adventure with emotional depth."

– Kirkus Reviews

Awards and Honors

  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title

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