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Locked Out Lily

Written by Nick Lake

Illustrated by Emily Gravett

Key Stage 2 Family / Home Stories Fantasy / Magical Horror & Ghost Stories

LoveReading View on Locked Out Lily

A modern classic in the making – original, full of encouragement on how to face your fears

Lily, our heroine, got sick a while ago, and now she just wants things to go back to how they were. This is complicated by the fact that Lily’s parents are just about to have another baby, so Lily is sent to her grandmothers to live whilst the baby arrives.  Lily will not stay – and runs back home to find her parents have been replaced.


Lily has one night to defeat the replacements and find her parents again – and make everything ‘right’. In this she is helped by some fascinating animal companions – Mouse, Mole, Crow and Snake have a wonderful humour, as well as providing the magic needed in every child’s story. 


Written with reference to our folk tale past – where talking animals often represent elements of human character, this is a delightful story you want to devour again and again.   


The story is supported and enhanced with Gravett’s dark illustrations; the writing is so visual the illustrations would be hugely missed. Gravett has used shadow and greyscale to create the wonderful characters, and an atmosphere that just oozes off the page as we read. 


This is the work of two masters of their arts – both can create wonderful reading experiences but joining them together makes for an unforgettable book that will find its way into many small hands now and long into the future. 

Tricia Adams

Locked Out Lily Synopsis

A startlingly original, stunningly-illustrated modern classic about learning to face your fears from the multi award-winning partnership of Nick Lake and Emily Gravett.

Lily just wants things to go back to the way they were: before she got sick, before her parents decided to have another baby. So when she's sent away to stay with her grandmother while her mum has the baby, Lily is determined to go home. But she doesn't expect to find people in her house - people who look like her parents, but definitely aren't ...

Together with some unlikely animal companions, Lily must face her fears and summon the courage to break into her own house, and defeat 'The Replacements' before the night is out. Nick Lake's atmospheric story of family and friendship is brought to spectacular life by Emily Gravett, twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Locked Out Lily Reader Reviews

In addition to our LoveReading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

Brilliantly illustrated throughout by Emily Gravett, ‘Locked Out Lily’ is an eerie tale. Full review

Sue Wilsher (Teacher Reviewer)

This book helps you to dive into a world of talking crows and ancient keys. Full review

Lottie Clark (Age 12)

Locked Out Lily Press Reviews

'A book of such wit and flair and delight: the kind of book you finish and immediately begin again, so that you can live again alongside the characters'  Katherine Rundell, bestselling author of The Explorer

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471194849
Publication date: 4th August 2022
Author: Nick Lake
Illustrator: Emily Gravett
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Family / Home Stories, Fantasy / Magical, Horror & Ghost Stories

About Nick Lake

Nick Lake is the critically-acclaimed author of many YA novels. His books have won several prizes including the Michael L. Printz Award, and have been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal - most recently for his novel Nowhere on Earth. Nick is also the Fiction Publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books. He lives with his family in Oxfordshire, in a very old house protected by magical symbols.. Nick Lake Q&A: Previous occupations:  Student, and then book editor. Which I still am.Favourite job:  Being a book editor. No one told me at ...

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