Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review: A Plague of Unicorns

A Plague of Unicorns is a simple chapter book by Jane Yolen.  It tells the story of a young man with too many questions that is sent to Cranford Abbey to learn and mature.

Unfortunately, the Abbey is struggling against marauding unicorns that come to steal the special apples from the orchard.  Will James be able to help solve the crisis?  Will he learn to speak less and listen more in the process?

I have read the picture book Owl Moon also by Ms. Yolen and absolutely loved it.  A Plague of Unicorns just did not grab my imagination as well.  Even so, I think the character of James was very well developed.  I enjoyed wondering how he might grow given a chance and a challenge.

Sadly, I did not feel that the plot was as developed as the characters.  After a rather long build up in the problem of the unicorns, the resolution comes much too quickly and predictably.  It was like hiking up a beautiful mountain and taking a fast elevator to the bottom.  The ending was too quick and too simple.  That said, this would be an enjoyable book for middle grades, with interesting characters and the amusing problem of the unicorns.  Not "twaddle" (as Charlotte Mason would say), but there are certainly better books out there.

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
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