“A Plague of Unicorns,” by Jane Yolen

I recently had the chance to read A Plague of Unicorns, by Jane Yolen. This fiction book was released on December 23, 2014 by Zonderkidz (Zondervan).

About this book (from the back cover):

Young James, an earl’s son, is a bit bothersome and always asking the oddest questions. In despair—the last of James’ tutors having quit—his mother sends him off to be educated at Cranford Abbey. She feels the strict regimen will do him a world of good. But Cranford Abbey has its own problems. It has been falling into disrepair. The newly appointed Abbot Aelian takes it upon himself to save the abbey with the use of his secret weapon: a recipe for golden apple cider passed down in his family for many generations. He believes that by making and selling the cider, the monks will raise necessary funds to restore the abbey to its former glory. Abbot Aelian has everything he needs—almost. One obstacle stands in his way, unicorns that happen to feast specifically on the golden apples. Abbot Aelian and his men must fight off the unicorns to make the cider. He and the monks try to form a battalion to fight off the beasts; next they import heroes to fight for them. But the heroes run off, monks are injured, and a herd of ravenous unicorns continue munching. After no success, the abbot finally calls upon the most unlikely of heroes, one suggested by no other than young James. That hero is small and unprepossessing but possesses the skill to tame the beasts. Though wildly skeptical, Abbot Aelian must risk everything and believe in this recommended stranger or risk the fall of Cranford Abbey.

My Verdict:

Jane Yolen is a masterful author, and according to her author’s bio on Amazon she “has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.” My family has enjoyed her picture books for years now – titles such as “Owl Moon” and the “How Do Dinosaurs…” series. I was excited to get to review one of her chapter books, and this one definitely didn’t disappoint. It’s a beautiful story about the love between a brother and a sister, the difficulty of adapting to new circumstances, and the triumph of successful problem solving. It’s simply but beautifully written. We are about to begin reading this book before bed as one of our regularly-scheduled read-alouds. Even though it’s a brand-new book, it has the feel of a timeless classic. I can’t recommend it enough!

If you’d like to check out A Plague of Unicorns it is currently on sale for $7.99 for the Kindle version right now (regularly $15.99.) If you prefer a physical copy the hardcover version is currently on sale for $12.96. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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