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The Shadowed Unicorn
     

The Shadowed Unicorn

by Sheila Kelly Welch
 

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Twelve-year-old Brendan, his twin brother, Nick, and their older sister, Ami, are struggling to cope with their father's recent death and their family's move to the country. When Ami discovers a hoofprint in the woods, she claims it belongs to a unicorn. Nick is dismissive of her plan to capture it, but Brendan feels drawn into Ami's imaginary world that includes a

Overview

Twelve-year-old Brendan, his twin brother, Nick, and their older sister, Ami, are struggling to cope with their father's recent death and their family's move to the country. When Ami discovers a hoofprint in the woods, she claims it belongs to a unicorn. Nick is dismissive of her plan to capture it, but Brendan feels drawn into Ami's imaginary world that includes a dangerous, nighttime journey to spy on an "ogre." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books says, "Welch's writing is rich with detail . . ." VOYA calls it ". . . true to life . . ." The book was shortlisted for the Prairie Pasque Award.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
What kind of hoofprint did Maid Amelia find in the woods? Wouldn't it be exciting and wonderful to be the one to discover and capture a real, live unicorn? Twelve-year-old Brendan and his twin brother Nick have many problems to overcome--adjusting to life in rural Pennsylvania after living in the city all their days; the sudden, unexpected death of their father; the disappearance of the family dog; and their sister Ami's mental and emotional withdrawal. This story of their time of adjustment is well-paced for stimulation, but with almost too many incredible adventures and episodes, all neatly resolved in the end. Although it can't be classified as great literature, it's a good yarn that will appeal most to pre-teens and early-teen girls and boys interested in mythical creatures and quests. 2000, Front Street Press, Ages 10 to 14, $15.95. Reviewer: Donna T. Brumby
VOYA
Twelveyear-old Brendan, his twin, Nick, and their fourteenyear-old sister, Ami, move with their mother to a farm in Pennsylvania from their New York City apartment after their father dies, each coping with the loss in his or her own way. Ami reads and writes obsessively about unicorns and on the role of Maid Amelia, the "maiden of pure heart" who will capture the unicorn. When she sees a hoofprint by a pool in the woods, she believes it is from a unicorn. Brendan and Nick go along with her whimsy because there is not much else to do in this isolated place. Meanwhile Brendan is trying to come to terms with his individuality, breaking away from being just "one of the twins," and he gets involved in Ami's game, especially after he thinks he sees the unicorn late one night. Ami becomes convinced that the unicorn is somewhere near the home of a crabby old man who lives nearby. When their mother's trip to the city to sell her weaving coincides with a full moon, the three children use the opportunity to go out at night and spy on the man in hopes of catching the unicorn. In a predictable ending, the unicorn turns out to be an ordinary horse, and the crabby neighbor is just a sad old man who is not so bad after all. The story moves along nicely, the interactions between the siblings are true to life, and the pain of the fatherless children is real. This simple plot, however, will appeal only to the youngest middle school readers. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2000, Front Street, Ages 12 to 14, 192p, $15.95. Reviewer: Sarah Flowers
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-The search for a unicorn is used in this adventure story as a solution to a girl's grief over the recent death of her father. While 12-year-old Brendan and Nick are coping with their loss, 14-year-old Ami is not doing well. She has many outbursts of anger, is rude to everyone, and is uncooperative. The family has recently moved from New York City to an old, dilapidated family farm in Pennsylvania where Ami secludes herself in her room, studying unicorn lore and laying plans to capture the one she is sure she has seen in their woods. When her mother goes out of town on business, Ami decides it is time to go after the unicorn and she convinces her twin brothers to go with her. Their search leads them to the property of a neighbor who has a reputation for shooting at trespassers. He captures Ami and Nick, but Brendan is able to sneak into the house and sweet talk him into letting them all go. (Conveniently, the beast glimpsed in the woods turns out to be the lonely man's horse, which he gives to Ami.) The excitement of their search and capture shocks Ami out of her grief. Character development is inconsistent, and the implausible deus ex machina solution to the serious problem of childhood grief trivializes the issue. An interesting unicorn hunt is not sufficient compensation for most readers.-Virginia Golodetz, Children's Literature New England, Burlington, VT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781450269919
Publisher:
iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/06/2011
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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