In this first book of the Ballynoosle series, four dyslexic children are living on an old Guinness barge, moored not far from the village of Ballynoosle. Eleven-year-old Anika Das hopes to make some friends there especially because she only had one friend at her last school.
At the village school, they meet a large black goat with flashing yellow eyes. He seems to have a small man as his personal servant. And he expects his every need to be satisfied.
One night, the children stay up late eating biscuits on deck, and they see lights moving around on one of the islands. They investigate and find themselves with the power to help the village. It's a tough, dangerous quest and Anika begins to realize that things are not as they appear in Ballynoosle. Having been crushed by her experience at school, Anika now finds that she has the courage to make a commitment to her new friend, the boy with the raven.
In this modern fairy tale, Anika learns a different way of being human, as an ordinary little lakeside village becomes an enchanted realm.