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Children's Fiction General

Wicked Nix

by (author) Lena Coakley

Initial publish date
Oct 2019
General, Siblings, General
Recommended Age
8 to 12
Recommended Grade
3 to 7
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2019
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Mischievous woodland fairy Nix is up to no good. His beloved fairy queen has gone away, leaving him with a very important job: protecting the forest from a most dangerous enemy—humans.

When a determined invader trespasses on his territory, Nix’s skills are put to the test as he invents several wicked tricks to chase the sorry fellow away. But when his efforts don’t go quite according to plan, it becomes clear that this intruder—and this sprite—may not be at all what they seem.

This gorgeous new fairy tale by acclaimed author Lena Coakley, with illustrations by rising illustration star Jaime Zollars, explores the timeless bonds of family and the joy of finding home in unexpected places.


About the author

Lena Coakley was born near the beach in Milford Connecticut, and she still loves the ocean. Her family tree is crowded with English professors, and the grandmother who raised her founded and directed a cooperative nursery school. How could she help but love children's books?

She studied writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and writing for children with Peter Carver in Toronto, Canada. Her first picture book, On the Night of the Comet, was published in 2004, followed closely by Mrs Goodhearth and the Gargoyle in 2005. She has twice won second prize in the Sunday Star Short Story Contest.

Lena is available for school and library visits across Canada and the US. Her website is

Lena Coakley's profile page


  • Unknown, Silver Birch Express Award Finalist
  • Unknown, CBC Best Book of the Year
  • Unknown, Sundogs Award (Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Awards)
  • Unknown, Saskatchewan Young Reader’s Choice Award - Diamond Willow Award
  • Unknown, Rocky Mountain Book Award

Editorial Reviews

“”[Coakley] strikes a thoughtful balance between fairy tales and the realistic feelings of loss and love. . . . Heart-warming.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)

“Read alone or read aloud, Coakley’s tale has a tangible sense of wonder that conjures a cozy magic.” — School Library Journal

“Coakley offers up a secretive tale with an abundance of turns and surprises . . . readers pulled in by the premise will enjoy puzzling through unreliable-narrator Wicked Nix’s mysteries. This dark twist on the old legend of stolen children is a spooky, compelling read.” — Kirkus Reviews

“The best stories have a deeper truth to them . . . In opting for humanity, love, and family, Nix not only gets himself into his proper place, but he also keeps Rose from making his mistake and letting herself be seduced by the fairy promises. Highly recommended.” — CM Magazine

Wicked Nix reads like a fairy tale, but one where nothing is as it seems. . . . Half of the magic comes from fairies, and half comes from the unexpected twists and turns of real life.” — Resource Links

Wicked Nix is a rare and enchanting book. Equal parts mischievous and poignant—this story is destined to linger in the hearts of all readers lucky enough to discover its magic. Easily the best fairy story I’ve read in years.” — Jonathan Auxier, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Gardener

“With humor and heartbreak, devastating loss and the hope of connection, Wicked Nix is a meditation on the lies we tell ourselves to protect ourselves, and the unexpected ways we might build a family. A sharp, startling, wondrous story.” — Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Award winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

“Sheer delight.” — Kathy Stinson, author of Red Is Best and The Man with the Violin

Other titles by Lena Coakley

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