Harper Reach is delighted to feature a heartwarming message to readers from Francesca Gibbons, author of A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth. With all the magic of Narnia and the humour of Mary Poppins, this is a future middle grade fantasy classic – and the beginning of an unforgettable journey…

Dear Reader,

Twelve-year-old Fran would be wildly excited to know that you might read her book. She’s the one who thought it’d be fun to write a story about a door in a tree.

Grown-up Fran feels exactly the same way – although she has made some changes to the plot.

The story begins with a little girl, called Imogen, who follows a moth into another world. The place she discovers is populated by monsters and bears and a prince who lives in a tower.

But Imogen is followed too… by her annoying little sister. Before she gets home, Imogen must learn to sort the truths from the myths and the outright lies.

Could the monsters, that descend on the city each night, be terribly misunderstood?

Could the king have a dark secret that’s destroying the kingdom?
Strangest of all, can little sisters sometimes be useful?

The Shadow Moth is about the importance of questioning the stories we’re told (including the stories that we tell ourselves).

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Thank you!


Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum’s boyfriend too. And she certainly shouldn’t follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree. But then… who does what they’re told?

Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the two sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time – helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter… and even the stars above them.

Thrilling, sharply funny, and with characters you will fall in love with, A Clock of Stars is a timeless fantasy from an astonishing new voice.