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Once There Was

by Kiyash Monsef

“Once was, once wasn’t,” is the way all Iranian fairy tales begin. How can something be and not be at the same time? In this magical young adult novel, 15 year old Marjan inherits her father’s veterinary clinic after his sudden death. She soon discovers an incredible secret — her father was a veterinarian to mythical animals. Young Marjan is ordered by outside forces to use her special gifts to heal these magical animals. Although she is initially resistant, she soon finds herself traveling around the world caring for and communicating with griffons, manticores, and much more. She is also involved with dueling groups of humans who seek to control these creatures. I absolutely loved this captivating novel, and I truly believed it is destined to become a classic in children’s literature. – Anita