The animal figures are just stone carvings, aren't they? That's how they seem to most people: decorations on a low wall that separates a street from the house where Dinah and her mother live. But the 11-year-old sees things differently. She spots the lioness first, then other creatures leaping off the wall, coming to her aid. After moving into a dilapidated old house, she is pushed aside by her mother's aggressive boyfriend. When Dinah sees a stone lioness move, she invites it to come home with her as her protector. After years of longing, Dinah believes she's finally found a safe haven. But as this taut, suspenseful page-turner reveals, Dinah's magical menagerie doesn't just protect her from enemies. It can also keep out friends.