Author – Mike Revell
Age – 9+
Liam isn’t keen about starting a new school after moving to a new town with his mum and elder sister Jess. They have moved into his grandma’s house as she has worsening dementia and is in a care home nearby. Lying awake one night, Liam sees a dark winged shape outside. What could it be?
Liam is missing his mates and wondering what he can do in the new town. Following his escaped dog from their garden, he explores a little and finds a run-down church nearby, surrounded by scaffolding. It all looks as if deserted years before, and Liam explores further. He finds a small room and when he looks inside, he sees the same shape he saw at night above his new house. But how can that be? It’s a concrete gargoyle – it can’t move?
When they begin tidying Grandma’s home to settle in themselves, Liam finds a diary. It has a picture of the same gargoyle on the front, and it belonged to Grandma when she was 13. Did she know about the Gargoyle? Did she see it too?
Liam is soon surrounded by mysteries. Is the Gargoyle alive? What does Grandma mean when she rambles one day about killing someone? Why is the school bully at the care home too?
This story reminded me a little of my favourite tween novel ever – ‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness.
Liam has to deal with bullying, his mother spiralling down into sadness over her own mother’s illness, and a creature that is somehow connected to his family. Told in first person, talking directly to the reader, Liam pulled me into his plight and confusion about what is happening around him, and the touch of magic around a stone gargoyle was fantastic.
(Grandparents, Dementia, Family, Bullying, Magic, Gargoyle)