Project Description


Saving the Griffin

by Kristin Wolden Nitz

For Kate, ordinary life in Minnesota is just a memory, especially when she and her brothers discover a magical baby griffin while vacationing in a small Italian town. Suddenly, they find themselves in an extraordinary magical adventure of mystery and a whole world of trouble.

Kate’s father’s work has brought the family overseas to a countryside estate in Tuscany. Kate spends much of her time with her younger brother, nine-year-old Michael, roaming the beautiful estate grounds. When they find a lost baby griffina strange, fantastical creature with colorful downy feathers and tufts of furthey are swept into a journey of excitement and fear, marked by the sinister Prince Eduardo.

Kate and Michael try to keep Grifonino safe and his existence a secret, but greedy paparazzi and eager scientists threaten the creature’s safety. With the help of their older brother Stephen, the siblings set out to return the magical creature to his mysterious home.

In this enchanted mixture of fantasy and adventure, author Kristin Wolden Nitz presents realistic characters with complex relationships, creating a story that middle readers will be sure to return to again and again.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-380-1
Publication Date: 4/1/2007
Page Count: 192
Size: 5-1/2 ̎ x 7-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 8 –12
Language: English
AR Level: 3.6
F&P: GRL S, Gr 4, Genre F
Lexile: 550L
Themes: Adventure, Fantasy, Italy, Siblings
BISAC 1: JUV030050 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Europe
BISAC 2: JUV013070 JUVENILE FICTION /Family / Siblings
BISAC 3: JUV037000 JUVENILE FICTION /Fantasy & Magic


“The fantastic and realistic narrative strands merge in the satisfying conclusion. Small, attractive line drawings appear at chapter heads throughout the book, enhancing the appealing story. From the author of Defending Irene (2004), this child-centered fantasy is nicely grounded in reality and enhanced by its well-drawn Italian settings.” ―Booklist

“Young middle grade readers wll quickly become engaged in this fantasy adventure set in present day Italy…. The short chapters help to move the plot along quickly…. a welcome addition to the fiction section of an elementary library.” ―Library Media Connection



Kentucky Bluegrass Awards (Master List, Grades 3-5) ―Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky School Media Association, 2010

Georgia Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―University of Georgia, 2009-2010

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Meet the Author

Kristin Wolden Nitz is an avid sports fan, coach, and the author of many magazine articles on kids and sports. Nitz is the author of Suspect and Defending Irene, and has also written nonfiction books, including Play By Play Softball, Play By Play Track, and Play By Play Field. She lives in Michigan. You can visit her website here.