Spark may be a cute and cuddly teddy bear, but she’s also a fierce protector. Weeks after rescuing her human owner—a budding young filmmaker named Loretta—from a hideous monster, everything seems to be returning to normal. But then Spark is summoned before the mysterious Grand Sleuth, the high council of teddy bears, who task her with a dangerous mission: locating the portal to the monster’s world.
During her daring quest, Spark discovers a terrible secret that changes everything. In order to keep Loretta and their whole town safe, she must enlist the help of her loyal toy friends and team up with an unexpected ally. As the menace grows, Spark realizes that Loretta has a hidden power that may be the key to saving them all . . .
This dark middle grade fantasy is perfect for fans of the Nightmares! series and Holly Black’s Doll Bones.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Spark sat on the shelf, her usual spot, between a set of worn-out diaries and a basketball trophy. In the window, the sun crept higher into the perfect blue sky, reflecting off the movie posters that lined the wall. It was Friday. The children were at school, the parents at work. While they were gone, Spark kept watch. Teddy bears like her were meant for this. They were meant to stay on the lookout for monsters—and anything else that could harm their human companions. This afternoon was quiet, like always. So Spark thought nothing of it when Zed—the sock monkey—called to her from the windowsill.
“A delivery guy just dropped off a package,” he whispered.
Only a few weeks earlier, Zed would never have left his place on the shelf. Usually, he stayed put and begged Spark to stop sneaking around. But he had become more daring lately, ever since encountering his first monster. When he was feeling particularly brave, he boasted that he was the first sock monkey to join the League of Ursus. Spark admired this newfound courage, though his efforts to keep watch sometimes went too far. Zed was always anxious, even when the danger had passed (or was never there in the first place).
“Did you hear me?” Zed asked, tugging at the little wool cap that was sewn to his head.
“I heard you,” Spark said. “Delivery guys leave packages all the time.”
Zed turned away from the window. “The package just moved.”
Spark jumped from the shelf, climbed onto the desk, and joined Zed on the windowsill. Below, a plain cardboard box the size of a microwave oven sat on the front steps.
“Delivery guy knocked twice,” Zed said. “No one answered, so he stuck a note to the door and left the box.”
In another hour, Zed would probably find something new to worry about. A distant police siren or a squirrel scratching on the roof. Until then, Spark would have to humor him. “Don’t worry about it,” she said. “Mom and Dad will grab the box when they get back.”
“What’s inside?” Zed asked.
“Maybe it’s a new toy. Maybe that’s how you got here,” Spark teased.
Zed’s mouth dropped open. This possibility clearly blew his mind. Spark realized she’d better explain before he started asking questions she couldn’t answer.
“Look,” she said, “have you ever heard of a monster that attacked a house from a box?” She pointed to the package, looking as harmless and bland as everything else in the neighborhood. “And how big could he be? That box is so—”
The package moved.
The branches outside the window hung completely still. Couldn’t have been the wind, Spark thought.