Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Tween Reads

ER for the weird: Saint Philomene’s Infirmary for Magical Creatures

Saint Philomene’s Infirmary for Magical Creatures, by W. Stone Cotter, (Jan. 2018, Henry Holt & Co), $16.99, ISBN: 9781627792578

Recommended for readers 9-13

Twelve-year-old Chance Jeopard digs a giant hole, cracks a pipe, and discovers a mysterious letter with an urgent message. He never knew that there was a hospital for magical creatures right underneath him until that moment, but St. Philomene’s Infirmary for Magical Creatures – a 955-year-old underground infirmary with over 6,000 levels and 1.8 million patients – is in grave danger if he doesn’t get this letter delivered. There’s a human down there, ready to unleash a deadly virus, and this letter details the cure. The only problem? No. Humans. Allowed. Chance and his science-minded sister, Pauline, along with her best friend, goth girl Mersey, are on a mission to save the day, as long as they avoid getting sniffed out by the current inhabitants. They’ll encounter ghouls, vampires, Deviklopts, Geckasofts, and more as they race against time to save the Infirmary.

Saint Philomene’s is madcap, crazy fun. Chance is an earnest, likable character who finds himself tossed into the middle of a crazy mission, when he really just wanted to be the messenger. Pauline is a pragmatic realist, and her friendship with goth Mersey make them wonderful foils for one another, especially once they find themselves pulled into the madness of Saint Philomene’s. While the frenetic pacing may overwhelm some readers, fantasy fans will get a kick out of this one.



first chapter


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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