Nathaniel Fludd Beastologist Book One: Flight of the Phoenix by R. L. LaFevers
Rating - Wizard
Synopsis from back cover
"Nathaniel Fludd's life has taken a turn for the worst. With his parents declared lost at sea, the ten-year-old lands on the doorstep of a distant relation. Aunt Phil is the world's last remaining beastologist, and Nate learns he is expected to carry on in the family business. Before he can unpack his suitcase, Aunt Phil whisks him off on his first expedition -- to the sands of Arabia, where the world's only phoenix prepares to lay its new egg. When disaster strikes, Nate quickly finds himself alone. Will he be able to see the phoenix safely hatched, keep Greasle, his accidental pet gremlin, out of trouble, and rescue Aunt Phil from the Bedouin? If he fails, nothing will stand between the world's mythical creatures and extinction. Too bad Nate's not the sort of boy who enjoys adventure...yet."