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Griffin's Castle by Jenny Nimmo

Griffin's Castle by Jenny Nimmo

When Dinah and her mother move into an old mansion, Dinah finally feels she has found a home. She imagines the home in its former splendor and refuses to notice the crumbling walls and failing electricity that mark it as condemned. With her disappointment over her mother's new, overbearing boyfriend and her desire for friendship, Dinah finds herself wishing the stone animals from a nearby castle would come to life. To her surprise, her wish comes true and Dinah's new home is soon protected by fantastical animals. They are invisible to most, but their presence is felt.

Barry and Jacob, two boys from Dinah's new school, recognize the animals for what they are, but they sense the threat that Dinah fails to see. Together, they try to understand Dinah and protect her in a way that magical animals can't. This is a fantasy story, but with a hint of the dark and sinister. I was caught up in the story, but Dinah's life is sad enough that I don't recommend it for younger readers. There is nothing inappropriate, but the loneliness and magic would be better for older kids or tweens.

Recommended for ages-10-13.

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