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Shauna C Murphy | Animalia




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Animalia | Book Cover. YA Fantasy novel
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On an icy peninsula near the Arctic, there is a school where select students from around the world are taught the secrets of the Victorian-era world.

The school's programs are:

Apothecary – for pharmacists

Warbringer – for warriors

Machinist – for inventors

Artisan – for artists

Animalia – for animalists

Thirteen-year-old Sunday Gråe wants to follow in her late father's footsteps and become Animalia – the way of working with animals' unique abilities that is taught only at the prestigious and secretive Svalbard School. Sunday's dreams come true when she is admitted, but the school is more dangerous than she thought. The Animalia students are mysteriously going missing... and she could be next. 

The Golden Compass meets Enola Holmes in this middle grade fantasy and mystery. Light fantasy elements paint an alternate Victorian era that features students from all around the world working toward altruistic goals (conservation, art, justice, innovation, health, etc) and takes a grounded approach to a universal magic we've all felt in our everyday lives – connection to animals and the natural world. 

Ages 10 +

330 pages

Middle Grade / Fantasy / World

Middle Grade / Fantasy / Mystery

Middle Grade / Fantasy / Steampunk


ISBN (paperback): 9798988045809

ISBN (ebook): 979-8-9880458-1-6


Get the book that will
change your reality into something
of fantasy.

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Support local bookstores and get signed copies!

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Readers say...

"I love the way she [Sunday] thinks. I've never read a book with someone who thinks like her."

– Emery, 13

"This is my new favorite book. My favorite character is Sunday. I like her a lot. I read the book in, like, three days."

– Payton, 13


"I loved this book! This is an amazing mix between fantasy/mystery... such a thrilling novel! I absolutely recommend it!"

– Hannah, 11


Svalbard house
are you in?

Editorial Reviews

"An appealingly eerie vibe, which will likely keep readers engaged to the last page..."

– Kirkus Reviews

"The novel’s portrayal of Sunday Gråe’s journey into the enigmatic Svalbard School and her quest for truth amidst personal struggles is both engaging and inspiring. Murphy’s skillful storytelling and the depth of character development make the book a compelling read that blends historical allure with thrilling mystery, offering readers a captivating and imaginative experience from start to finish."

– IndieReader

"This was such an interesting take on the whole Fantasy/Magic school trope... I found the world that Murphy built very interesting and couldn't wait to see how it's explored."

– Lattes, Lipstick, and Literature

"​Thirteen-year-old Sunday Gråe is admitted to Svalbard School, a secretive school in a mysterious northern location, isolated and surrounded by icy landscapes.  The students are trained to become Animalia, which means they learn how to release the skills and instincts of certain animals that are latent within them and use them constructively.  Only a few children have the qualities necessary to do this, so they are very carefully selected.   Sunday is vividly realised and convincingly motivated by the mysterious way in which her father, also Animalia, died. The Scandinavian elements offer an unusual setting, and there are plenty of intrigues in Svalbard to keep the reader engaged. Sunday’s voice is punctuated by constant reflection and self-questioning and the narrative is pacy and full of entertaining touches: the newt-dragon, Grom, and Sunday's interactions with him are fun and well-presented; Sunday’s new friends are also intriguing and convincing.  This is a imaginative Young Adult fantasy, with many pleasing original touches."

– Rubery Book Award


Listen to the audiobook

Narrated by Sigrid Zeiner

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Copyright (c) Coco Studios, all rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or use of this audio is prohibited.


Meet Sunday Gråe

Sunday is a hero like no other.


Smart and insightful, Sunday uses her intellect and her powers of perception to protect her friends and save her family.

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Sunday's bravery in the face of sinister obstacles inspires her to use her voice to speak the truth with power and love, and to solve problems that only she can overcome.


Nov. 17

Book Signing at

Metro Entertainment

4:30 p.m.

Santa Barbara, CA

Nov. 25

Book Signing and Celebration at

River Roasters

2:00 p.m.

Florence, OR

May. 15

Author Talk at

Paulina Springs Books

Sisters, OR

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Shauna C Murphy
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