The Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor (Paperback)

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A 12-year-old girl makes a reckless bargain with a desperate water nymph in this charming middle-grade debut perfect for fans of classics like The NeverEnding Story.
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. So she retreats to where she’s 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. In exchange for the thing she loves most—her favorite book— Poppy now 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. With every night Sampson grows, another book disappears, and Poppy soon faces the harrowing reality that without their favorite stories, the lives of everyone around her begin to unravel.
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.

About the Author

Aubrey Hartman lives in California with her husband and three young children. She is the author of The Lion of Lark-Hayes Manor and The Undeadfox of Deadwood Forest. Like Poppy, she believes in magic: the kind that’s made up of powerful words, cinematic scenes, and characters who curl up in your heart to stay. Also like Poppy, she’s passionate about inspiring young people to recognize the impact their voices can have in the world. She invites you to visit her at

Praise For…

"The Lion of Lark-Hays Manor is a page-turning novel about an unlikely friendship, the price of granted wishes, and finding one’s voice. A magical adventure that reminds us of the power of stories."—Lynne Kelly, author of Song For a Whale

"A book for all of us about learning to speak—and also to listen to every voice, even the soundless."—Kathryn Erskine, National Book Award winner

"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."—Booklist

"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."—Publishers Weekly

"Some books are fun. Some make you think. And others forever change the landscape of your heart. By penning an ode to the power of empathy and the magic of stories, Hartman has accomplished all three. " 

Kamilla Benko, USA Today bestselling author of The Unicorn Quest trilogy
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316448321
ISBN-10: 031644832X
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 5th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English