By: Rob Cameron

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An eleven-year-old boy copes with the challenges of his city life by weaving his reality into a magical realm of dragons, foxes, and trolls—until he must use the power of his creativity to save both of his worlds from destructive forces. This stunning debut is a profound exploration of imagination, community, and how the stories we tell both comfort us and challenge us to grow.

Charles’ life is split between two worlds: one real and one fantasy. In the real world, he is a lonely, bullied kid who can’t keep up with school when the letters refuse to stay still on the page, and is constantly in trouble for getting distracted. He lives with his mom in an apartment building, where Glory, the grumpy old superintendent, fills his head with stories about the Dream Folk.

In his fantasy world, the Sanctuary, Charles adventures with faeries and sprites and his two imaginary best friends. There, Charles's bullies become ogres, and Glory opens his arms wide to transform into a dragon. But when trolls move into Charles’ apartment building and bring with them a terrible secret, the stories he has been told and the ones he brings to life grow more complicated. To protect everyone he cares about, Charles must harness his imagination in ways he never dreamed, in this unique story of the spaces and narratives we create for ourselves, and the ways in which fantasy and reality collide and blur.

Details & specs

Publisher name:
Random House Children's Books

Publication date:


Penguin Random House

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