The Transfigured Hartby Jane Yolen
In this new novel by the author of The Wild Hunt and Wizard's Hall, a boy and a girl form an unlikely friendship to protect a unicorn from hunters.
VOYA - Linda RobertsRichard, a lonely, orphaned twelve-year-old boy, lives with his aunt and uncle and has few friends. His major source of entertainment is reading, especially since he has been ill with rheumatic fever and confined to his bed for several years. Heather is a lively, outgoing, popular thirteen-year-old girl, as different from Paul as it is possible to be. Both children love to visit the Five Mile Wood, for different reasons, and one day they meet accidentally as both are searching for the beautiful white creature they saw by the pool earlier. Richard is convinced the creature is a unicorn and, to be a hero, wants to capture it and tame it. Heather thinks it is a deer; she wants to capture it and make it her pet, so her brothers will not hunt it and kill it. Richard and Heather become friends as they plan how to capture the animal, and one moonlit night they hide in the woods and wait for it to appear. Is it unicorn or deer? The reader never really finds out and neither do Richard and Heather, but it could be a unicorn, if you believe. This short paperback reprint of Yolen's 1975 award-winning tale is full of fantasy and magic. Many libraries might still own it and have it in their juvenile fiction collections. Will it appeal to teens? It depends on the teen. Fantasy lovers will probably devour it. In addition to the fantasy elements, there are some teen issues as well-loneliness, identity, and friendship. The cover will probably not attract teen readers. Still, I would definitely recommend this for a middle school collection. It is a short, beautifully written fantasy, but grounded in the reality of issues facing teens today. VOYA Codes: 5Q 3P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8 and Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9).
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