A plucky orphan girl stumbles into a conflict centuries in the making in this thrilling middle grade fantasy about unexpected heroes, the power of friendship, and one boisterous enchanted sword.

Twelve-year-old Lark is determined to escape her squalid life at Miss Starvenger’s boarding house, but she needs to find the coin to do it. Her grand scheme? To steal her fortune from the Royal Museum.

Unfortunately, her heist goes off the rails, and Lark ends up stealing a magical sword right out from under the nose of Prince Jasper, who’s none too happy to have his plans thwarted. Lark soon discovers that the Sword has a mind of its own, and has chosen her to be the next Nightingale, a fabled hero who must vanquish an ancient evil that is waking after centuries of sleep.

Working alone has its limitations, but relying on others after a lifetime of disappointments feels impossible. Still, Lark will need the help of her boarding house roommates if she wants to defeat the villainous forces that threaten to dismantle everything she holds dear.

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on April 20, 2021.
ISBN: 1534465782 
ISBN13: 9781534465787

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Also available as an audiobook from and Audible!

“An entertaining, organic, action-packed combination of adventure, science fiction, and fantasy...” ~ Kirkus

“A solid if unexpected blend of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and story of the birth of labor unions.” ~The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Though a magic sword with the personality of an eager dog steals a lot of scenes, this tale of a reluctant orphan forced to play the hero offers numerous feats of derring-do as well as insight into the importance of making and having friends—not to mention a fine climactic battle with a giant robot.” ~ Booklist STARRED REVIEW

“Lark’s journey from thief to reluctant hero to champion is a joy to witness.” ~School Library Journal

Listen to me and fellow MG author Ellen Booraem for a chat with agent Renee Nyen on the kt literary podcast about what makes middle grade fiction so much fun to write, among other things.

Join me for a video chat with fellow MG authors Ellen Booraem and Leah Cypess about MG fantasy, hosted by PRINT: A Bookstore.