Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The Gargoyle in My Yard

The Gargoyle in My Yard
by Philippa Dowding
Recommended Ages: 10+

The gargoyle in Katherine's back yard doesn't fit in well with the other garden statues. They're all obviously sculptures; the gargoyle is alive. Also, it gets into fisticuffs with one of the dwarves, tramples Katherine's mom's award-winning asters, and generally acts rude. At first, Katherine worries about her parents finding out. Then she and her dad learn that her mom already knows, and the family takes steps to get to know the gargoyle better.

His name is Gargoth, and he's lived for over 400 years. Somehow, he arrived in Toronto in a crate with another living gargoyle, but the two were separated in a candle shop and he's desperate to find her again. Katherine agrees to help him in his search. But first, she and her family must adjust to having a little, winged creature in their garden that eats, drinks, talks and feels obligated to protect the family – even from trick-or-treaters. Keeping him secret puts a strain on the family, but it also has heartwarming rewards as Gargoth becomes almost part of the family.

Katherine, her parents, their cat Milly and the gargoyle in their garden share almost a year's worth of experiences in this brief, quickly read chapter book – experiences ranging from humorous to alarming, with stops at magical, mysterious and touching. How do you take a gargoyle to a piano lesson? What do you give a gargoyle for Christmas? How do you get rid of one, and what if you're not sure you want to? For all these questions and more, inquire within.

Philippa Dowding is the award-winning Canadian author of Firefly, Oculum and its upcoming sequel Oculum Echo, the "Nightflyers Handbook" series (The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden and Everton Miles is Stranger Than Me), and the "Weird Stories Gone Wrong" stories (Jake and the Giant Hand and at least five more). This book also has at least a couple sequels: The Gargyole Overhead and The Gargoyle at the Gates. Maybe because it's from Canada, I had my best luck finding this book via online used booksellers; also, I'm afraid, well organized information about its author and her works is hard to find, even on her own website. Fantastic Fiction hasn't heard of her, and her Wiki page doesn't mention this series. Try Thriftbooks and/or Abebooks dot com.

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