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The Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor

The Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor

A charming middle-grade novel about old magic, new friendships, a winged lion learning to roar, and a young girl fighting to be heard. Perfect for fans of classics like The NeverEnding Story.

Story by Aubrey Hartman
Jacket illustration and Chapter Art by Christopher Cyr
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of Publication: May 2, 2023
ISBN: 9780316448222
320 Pages

Poppy Woodlock believes in magic, but so far she hasn't found any. It's been two weeks since her parents moved their family to Oregon to undertake their biggest project yet: revitalizing the once-grand Lark-Hayes Manor. Her older brother instantly found his place, but after being thrown into middle school midyear, Poppy is feeling...invisible. And not the cool kind. So she retreats to the places where she has always felt most at home: books and magic. And if the fantastic and supernatural exist, certainly they can be found in this mysterious old estate.

A late-night prowl leads Poppy to a desperate water nymph, with whom she strikes a dangerous bargain. But now Poppy has the secret of a lifetime: her very own flying lion. Sampson is exactly what she needs to prove magic does exist and, more importantly, that she is not to be so easily dismissed.

But the cost of ancient magic is astronomic, and it threatens to unravel the lives of everyone around her. Fixing the chaos will require Poppy to be clever and bold, and even at her smartest and loudest, she's not sure it will be enough. But she has to try.

Illustrator's Note

Stories like this are the ones I read voraciously as a child. Aubrey Hartman’s words brought to life Poppy and Samson’s world in my mind’s eye, and I hope that my art encourages a curious and eager young mind to pick up this exciting and magical tale of adventure.

Chapter One
'Two white orb eyes met her gaze.'
A small bundle of fur.
The Nymph.
Thunderstorms, cinnamon, smoke.

Publisher's Weekly Review

" Tonally reminiscent of classic children’s fantasies, Hartman’s debut layers slice-of-life concerns—bickering parents, new-kid trials—with a high-concept premise, making for a winning novel focused on literary influence and everyday magic. "

Booklist Review

" This gentle fantasy beautifully explores the ways books shape and stir readers, and Poppy’s joyful, funny friendship with the lion is a treat. An enchanting adventure that encourages readers to find their voice and delight in stories. "

Jacket wrap illustration for the Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor
Poppy Woodlock and Sampson

• Genre: Children's Books / Juvenile Fiction / Legends, Myths, Fables / General

• Reading age: 8-12

What happens when Poppy messes with unchangeable Old World magic?


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