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Children's LiteratureHeart Avamir continues her quest to find her family, while avoiding capture by Lord Dunraven. Accompanied by Moonsilver, a young unicorn, Heart searches for Castle Avamir, hoping that its name indicates a connection with her family. She bids farewell to the Gypsies with whom she's been traveling, and sets off. In the town of Hickory Creek, she meets Laura, who gives her more help in her quest. Eventually, after a week's journey, she comes upon Castle Avamir itself. There she finds a beautiful garden and a gentle old man; he tells her something of the family of Avamir, but Lord Dunraven and his men appear and take the old man away before he can finish. Once they've gone, Heart and Moonsilver resume her quest, certain now that her family needs help. This slim "Ready-for-Chapters" book does not use simplified language, and feels more like the author wrote a book for older children, then took thirty pages at a time and cut them into short books composed of small paragraphs and brief chapters. Quick readers may become impatient at the slow plot advance, but beginning readers in search of a more whimsical story with a fairy tale feel will probably enjoy the book. The emphasis on Heart's friendship with the unicorn makes this an attractive book for young horse-lovers. As the seventh book in "The Unicorn's Secret" series, it launches into the story somewhat suddenly-readers should certainly read the entire series in order. Rayyan's black-and-white illustrations are very appealing. 2003, Aladdin Paperbacks/Simon & Schuster, Ages 7 to 10.
— Julie Govan