Lily, a seriously ill girl, finds herself alone, when her parents leave for the hospital to have a baby. Technically she’s not alone, she is staying with her grandmother, but she feels abandoned. When her grandmother falls asleep, Lily decides to sneak out and walk home only to find her home is now occupied by some otherworldly intruders who look and sound like her parents.

Lily finds strength to battle the intruders with the aid of ancient magic from a mouse, a mole, a crow, and a snake. The tale follows Lily’s internal and external struggles as she comes to terms with her illness, a new baby, and the need to get the evil trespassers out of her home to save the family she loves.

A note to parents:

Generally speaking, I love a good adventure tale. A way to escape everyday life and enjoy a new world of possibilities. There are many good books about children facing real life issues in fiction. And as important as they are (and necessary so kids can see themselves), I prefer to read and write exciting adventure that allows the reader to escape their problems for a while. It’s what I chose as a middle grade aged reader myself, and what several of my young students have told me they like, including those with their own difficult backgrounds.

I chose to read Lily and the Night Creatures fully aware that it was a story of a very ill child. But I was drawn to the adventure of a night in an English village with magic and animal guardians. I’m glad I made the leap to read this tale. A word of warning, I actually cried at one part—a part a young reader would probably just have thought oh, what’s that about? As an adult I found the depth of this story poignant and the adventurous Lily inspiring. I think kids will, too.

Grades 3 – 7

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