The Unicorn in the Barn
For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away.       One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead.       When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed.       A tender tale of love, loss, and the connections we make, The Unicorn in the Barn shows us that sometimes ordinary life takes extraordinary turns.

The Unicorn in the Barn Details

TitleThe Unicorn in the Barn
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN054476112X
ISBN-139780544761124
Number of pages304 pages
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult, Magical Realism, Family, Unicorns

The Unicorn in the Barn Review

  • Kelsi
    January 16, 2017
    I knew I'd find a book like this. I knew it. Behold, fellow Goodreaders, my new book obsession for 2017.
  • Ronny
    July 21, 2017
    t'was very good :)
  • Ms. Yingling
    July 11, 2017
    E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineEric Harper is irritated when he sees a "No Trespassing" sign on his treehouse. He knows that his father had to sell his grandmother's house and some of their land to pay for her nursing home, but the treehouse is still his. He meets the new occupant of the house, Allegra Brancusi, who is living there with her mother, who is running a veterinary practice there. He also sees a shimmering white horse that appears to be hurt... but it turns out to be a real, l E ARC from Edelweiss Above the TreelineEric Harper is irritated when he sees a "No Trespassing" sign on his treehouse. He knows that his father had to sell his grandmother's house and some of their land to pay for her nursing home, but the treehouse is still his. He meets the new occupant of the house, Allegra Brancusi, who is living there with her mother, who is running a veterinary practice there. He also sees a shimmering white horse that appears to be hurt... but it turns out to be a real, live unicorn. Very matter-of-factly, Dr. Brancusi explains to Eric that she has a number of magical creatures under her care, and since it's hard to find people she can trust to work with the animals, she asks Eric to come and work for her. This job consists mainly of scooping unicorn poop, but Eric feels better just being around Moonpearl. Things are somewhat difficult at home. His mother died when he was young, his older brother is busy being a teenager, his father is very gruff and seems overburdened, and Eric misses his grandmother. He visits her once a week, but it's not the same as having her nearby. After his grandmother picks a few unicorn hairs off of his jacket, Eric notices that her arthritic hand seems improved. He knows that Moonpearl's magic can heal people, but since the unicorn is pregnant with twins, Dr. Brancusi doesn't want to take any chances with her health. As the fall turns to winter, Eric must deal with his grandmother's declining health, and he and Allegra become friends while tending to the animals.Strengths: This was delightful! I would have adored this when I was in upper elementary school. There is a pregnant unicorn, for heaven's sake! And a talking Cheshire cat! Eric's relationship with his grandmother was very sweet, and while this was sad, it wasn't hand-wringingly soppy. I liked how Allegra, Dr. Brancusi and Eric all worked together to help Moonpearl, and I thought the twist at the end of the story was a nice touch. I almost didn't read this one because it looked twee, but it ended up being a book I can easily hand to any of my students who want magical realism.Weaknesses: I wanted Moonpearl to heal Eric's grandmother as much as he did, but even in fantasy books, that's not necessarily what happens.What I really think: I think this begs for a party. Who knew there was a unicorn-themed food trend?
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  • Karin
    February 25, 2017
    This is exactly the kind of book I would have adored as a kid - lots of animals, a bit of family drama, and fantasy (but the believable kind). Kid discovers the new vet (and family) that have moved into his grandmother's farmhouse next door are treating magical animals...including a unicorn!...and he learns life lessons (about friendship, the rewards of hard work, life and death, and letting go) as a result. Sweet and substantive - a winning combination.*Read as digital galley from Edelweiss.
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  • Lexa
    December 14, 2016
    Even though this book wasn't very exciting or adventurous, it was still an amazing book. I love unicorns, so when I saw the title I figured I'd just try it out to see if I liked it. The story kept getting better as I was reading it, and I liked the author's style of writing. I would recommend this to anyone who likes fiction and/or unicorns
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  • Laura
    June 16, 2017
    Secret. Magical. Creatures. Veterinarian. It's like someone peered into my childhood, looked at all the books I was reading at 12 years old, and decided to write this book just for me. It even has adorable illustrations throughout by Rebecca Green! Seriously, I can't even put to words how much I love this book. I kind of love it so much that I want it to be a series of books about how this kid takes care of magical creatures and learns serious life lessons. Instead of writing a proper review, I' Secret. Magical. Creatures. Veterinarian. It's like someone peered into my childhood, looked at all the books I was reading at 12 years old, and decided to write this book just for me. It even has adorable illustrations throughout by Rebecca Green! Seriously, I can't even put to words how much I love this book. I kind of love it so much that I want it to be a series of books about how this kid takes care of magical creatures and learns serious life lessons. Instead of writing a proper review, I'm going to post gifs of all the amazing creatures that show up in the book:One Beautiful Lady Unicorn (obviously)(view spoiler)[A Cheshire Cat with visibility problemsBaby UnicornsA Jackalope (though only mentioned in passing and not a central part of our story)A Wampus (Pictured below is a Mountain Lion as I couldn't find a gif of a Wampus. A Mountain Lion is a close approximation of a Wampus)A Goose that lays the Golden EggsA Squonk (which is my first time hearing of a squonk! They live in Pennsylvania, so I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for them!)(hide spoiler)]I think that's the extent of mentioned mythical creatures. As you can see, it's not a very long list and there's huge potential here for exploring more creatures! I sincerely hope Ogburn continues this story! Outside of the mythical creatures, there are complicated relationships, life lessons, difficult decisions, heroism, rescue, life, death, and everything in between. I do so love these characters and hope our story doesn't end here. As is, though, it is a tidy story and one worth reading either to yourself or to your kids.
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  • Cindy Mitchell
    July 10, 2017
    Ogburn, Jacqueline The Unicorn in the Barn, 290 pages. Houghton, 2017. $17. Content: G.Eric Harper is still sad that his family had to sell his grandparents’ farm after his grandmother became sick enough that she needs full time care. A veterinarian has moved in with her daughter, who doesn’t seem to like Eric at all. But he can’t stay away – especially when he sees a unicorn limping its way to the barn. He talks his way into becoming a helper around the clinic and is introduced to a wider field Ogburn, Jacqueline The Unicorn in the Barn, 290 pages. Houghton, 2017. $17. Content: G.Eric Harper is still sad that his family had to sell his grandparents’ farm after his grandmother became sick enough that she needs full time care. A veterinarian has moved in with her daughter, who doesn’t seem to like Eric at all. But he can’t stay away – especially when he sees a unicorn limping its way to the barn. He talks his way into becoming a helper around the clinic and is introduced to a wider field of animals then he ever knew.Ogburn does such a great job it integrating the care of magical creatures along side regular animals without becoming sparkly magic. It remains grounded in a place that keeps the fantasy special. Eric fumbles, making mistakes, but learns and grows and suffers just like he should. Loved it.EL –ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacherhttps://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2017...
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  • Mary Thomas
    June 18, 2017
    Oh I loved this story so, so much! Eric, whose grandmother has recently moved off of their property and into a nursing home, is annoyed to find his new neighbor is a bossy girl that doesn't seem to know the property line. But when he thinks he spots a Unicorn walk into her barn, he begins to change his mind. When Eric discovers the Unicorn's healing properties, his head swims with ideas about healing his grandmother. But at what cost? This was such a beautiful and enthralling story! I know just Oh I loved this story so, so much! Eric, whose grandmother has recently moved off of their property and into a nursing home, is annoyed to find his new neighbor is a bossy girl that doesn't seem to know the property line. But when he thinks he spots a Unicorn walk into her barn, he begins to change his mind. When Eric discovers the Unicorn's healing properties, his head swims with ideas about healing his grandmother. But at what cost? This was such a beautiful and enthralling story! I know just the students to hand this to when we get back from summer break! Eric is so sweet and full of heart, and the Unicorn narrative drew me right in! A great story about magic, friendship, and family. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Kasandra
    June 6, 2017
    I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway - thanks, Goodreads! This was a beautiful story, delightful and charming and sweet without being treacly. One family's money woes lead to the sale of part of their farm, bought by a vet who turns out to treat magical animals. The book deals with loss and death, of both the human and animal persuasion, but it's got a happy (believable) ending. Would be a great read, especially, for kids who think they want to become vets - a great tale that emphasize I won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway - thanks, Goodreads! This was a beautiful story, delightful and charming and sweet without being treacly. One family's money woes lead to the sale of part of their farm, bought by a vet who turns out to treat magical animals. The book deals with loss and death, of both the human and animal persuasion, but it's got a happy (believable) ending. Would be a great read, especially, for kids who think they want to become vets - a great tale that emphasizes that not all animals can be saved, and that vets don't make a lot of money, truisms that I certainly didn't think about as a kid who went through an "I want to be a veterinarian" phase. Highly recommended. Also, great illustrations.
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  • Nicole B.
    June 13, 2017
    An ARC was provided me by the publisher.This was a fun, light read. My seven-year-old really enjoyed it. I was pretty disappointed to come across language I deemed inappropriate for this level at just one small part more than halfway into the book. (The book labels it for ages 10-12 and grades 5-7.) Really? Why? I want my child to be able to pick up any book in the children's section without the risk of him adopting a profane phrase.Also, I thought it was interesting that there was a positive as An ARC was provided me by the publisher.This was a fun, light read. My seven-year-old really enjoyed it. I was pretty disappointed to come across language I deemed inappropriate for this level at just one small part more than halfway into the book. (The book labels it for ages 10-12 and grades 5-7.) Really? Why? I want my child to be able to pick up any book in the children's section without the risk of him adopting a profane phrase.Also, I thought it was interesting that there was a positive association made with smoking. We haven't seen that done in recent times, at least not in anything related to children. It's not a deal breaker for me, but is this what we want to have happen in our culture?
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  • Sarah Elizabeth
    July 4, 2017
    The Unicorn in the Barn is exactly the type of book I love to read. Magic, friendship, sassiness, and an exploration of what it means to lose the ones we love.Eric struggles with the sale of his grandmother's home and her placement in a nursing home. This is exacerbated by the discovery of his new neighbor--the sassy (but lovable) Allegra. Eric soon finds out the secrets that Allegra's family has been keeping about their veterinarian's office and is excited to help take care of their more unique The Unicorn in the Barn is exactly the type of book I love to read. Magic, friendship, sassiness, and an exploration of what it means to lose the ones we love.Eric struggles with the sale of his grandmother's home and her placement in a nursing home. This is exacerbated by the discovery of his new neighbor--the sassy (but lovable) Allegra. Eric soon finds out the secrets that Allegra's family has been keeping about their veterinarian's office and is excited to help take care of their more unique patients. The Unicorn in the Barn is full of love and magic, and will be a great addition to my classroom library!*Review written after reading an ARC of The Unicorn in the Barn.*
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  • Korie
    May 8, 2017
    What would you do if you discovered a unicorn in the barn? When Eric's family sells part of their property to afford his grandmother's medical needs, a surprise awaits him when a new veterinarian and her daughter move in. Eric soon finds out a bigger secret is about to unfold. This is a story that sneaks up on you, and through the gentle tenderness of the story you realize how much you care for these characters. This lovely story of family love and animal kinship for upper elementary is beautifu What would you do if you discovered a unicorn in the barn? When Eric's family sells part of their property to afford his grandmother's medical needs, a surprise awaits him when a new veterinarian and her daughter move in. Eric soon finds out a bigger secret is about to unfold. This is a story that sneaks up on you, and through the gentle tenderness of the story you realize how much you care for these characters. This lovely story of family love and animal kinship for upper elementary is beautifully captured by Rebecca Green.
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  • Rachael Sanders
    July 22, 2017
    This book was beautiful; a tale of family and friendships. With equally beautiful illustrations it was a delight to read and has all the qualities of an instant classic! Utterly, spellbindingly wonderful.
  • Megan Sexton
    July 22, 2017
    Wonderful middle grade story. Will make a lovely read aloud as well. I have a deep respect for books that handle grief for children in a matter of fact way instead of glossing over it.
  • Roxana
    July 26, 2017
    I loved this book. Very easy to read, read it in a couple of days. Storyline engaging.
  • Melanie
    July 24, 2017
    Delightful fantasy about caring for those creatures who need our protection, and all we get back from them in the process. I know my students will devour this novel!
  • Clarissa
    July 7, 2017
    The eight year old me would have been completely enamored with this book!
  • Abbie
    June 12, 2017
    Read my review at Bookish Adventures.
  • Mary Lee
    June 18, 2017
    This is a book for my 10-12 year old self. Love that it's a BOY main character. He's a 5th grader, but there's little or nothing about school, so he could be 3rd-6th grade.
  • Cassie Thomas
    June 7, 2017
    A touching, yet simple fantasy read for middle grade students. A lot of messages interwoven throughout the story that would make for good talking points with kids.
  • Tia
    July 20, 2017
    This is a touching tale about a boy and his discovery that magical creatures exist. Eric's love of animals and his sweet relationship with his grandmother carry this novel to a 5 star rating for me.
  • Nile
    July 26, 2017
    Here's a very good book...Heartwarming and real!Written by a talented writer!Thanks!
  • Marsha Burns
    July 26, 2017
    This is a great book,i loved it and did my 8 year old grandson.
  • Robin Yardi
    July 20, 2017
    If you know a fantasy-loving-maybe-wants-to-be-a-veterinarian kid (or grown up) this book would make a lovely choice!
  • Engel Dreizehn
    February 18, 2017
    ARC copy....very warm and magical realistic both in illustrations and prose. Very enjoyable read and motifs on "the most mundane things in life are magical" and "even unicorn magic cannot stop/or heal the natural things in life like death".
  • Jane Kornegay
    January 26, 2017
    Thanks to , NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, and Jacqueline Ogburn for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.The Unicorn in the Barn★★★☆☆Expected Publication: 07/04/17 For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away. One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead. Whe Thanks to , NetGalley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, and Jacqueline Ogburn for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.The Unicorn in the Barn★★★☆☆Expected Publication: 07/04/17 For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away. One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead. When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed. This book is incredibly well written. It is for young children 10+, but packs in important lessons about life, loss, and hope. There are 306 pages filled with amazing illustrations and whimsical characters; Timothy the talking Cheshire cat, Moonpearl the unicorn, and a little swamp creature called Squonk. All in all, I rate this 3/5 stars as a result of the presence of a delicate subject, death. Over all, it handled well, however, for the targeted audience it may be too much. (But of course there is a happy ending).Connections, friendships, choices we make have an undeniable affect on our everyday life and can turn ordinary moments into extraordinary moments. At the end of the day, its all about the magic that occurs everyday in life and how we dont NEED to hold on to things that aren't ours to begin with. We can all carry our experiences and what they teach us inside of our hearts, while at the same time letting them go. Much like the ocean tides, its a give and take of ever flowing magic.
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  • Michelle Leonard
    May 7, 2017
    Eleven-year-old Eric Harper lives on his family’s farm in Chinaberry Creek. Due to his grandmother’s illness, they’ve sold her home to a new veterinarian in town to help pay bills. The veterinarian takes care of the many wild and unusual animals that live in the area around the Harper’s land. One day, Eric spots a lame unicorn and the veterinarian invites him to work with her and her young daughter to treat the animals. As Eric learns there are magical creatures that live in their woods, he also Eleven-year-old Eric Harper lives on his family’s farm in Chinaberry Creek. Due to his grandmother’s illness, they’ve sold her home to a new veterinarian in town to help pay bills. The veterinarian takes care of the many wild and unusual animals that live in the area around the Harper’s land. One day, Eric spots a lame unicorn and the veterinarian invites him to work with her and her young daughter to treat the animals. As Eric learns there are magical creatures that live in their woods, he also discovers family secrets that will change his life forever.THE UNICORN IN THE BARN is both deeply imaginative and real at the same time. It deals with family death in a tender way for young readers. It is a coming-of-age story fully of whimsy, appropriate for ages 9-12 and would make a great read-together book. Rebecca Green’s black-and-white illustrations beautifully compliment the simple and heartfelt prose. More info and an interview with the author here: http://thewingedpen.com/the-unicorn-i...
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  • Baby Bibliophile
    July 31, 2017
    Imagine a very special place, disguised as an ordinary vet clinic, where magical creatures could secretly go to be healed. The Unicorn in The Barn was a wonderful read! I received this book in July's Owlcrate Jr box. The story drew me in immediately and I finished it in one sitting. It was a sad and unpredictable story but keep reading, it gets happier!
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