October 18, 2018

Book Review: The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K. Obrun

Title: The Unicorn in the Barn
Author: Jacqueline K. Ogburn
Copy Obtained: From publisher

About the Book from Goodreads
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.

One sentence review: Sweet story that's great for young middle school students, but I hoped for more.  
Best for readers who: Are obsessed with unicorns, but will also understand it's a series book
Best Stick-with-You Image: The baby unicorns
Library Thoughts: I'm not sure if this is one I'd get - only because kids want a fun book about unicorns, and this is a more series book.  

This book was not at all what I expected it to be!  I was thinking it would be more light-hearted and magical since it involves a unicorn.  Instead, I found a book that had a much deeper level of seriousness mixed in with magic and family history.  Eric is a sweet boy that has gone through some changes.  The woods he's lived in forever have been sold off to another family.  The house he visited everyday where is Grandma lived is now completely different.  He has to watch everything he knew change.  That's tough for any kid, but he handles it well.  Now throw in a unicorn, other magical creatures, and a sick grandmother, and you'll see that Eric (and the reader) has a lot going on.  Because of this, the story stayed on the surface quite often.  That isn't necessarily bad, but it did see places where it could've gone deeper.  I don't think this will bother the intended audience at all, but as an adult reading it I did feel it.  

I was thankful that Eric and Allegra become more friends.  I thought at first they would do nothing but fight.  I liked that it shows readers that even with changes if you keep your mind open you can find good things.  Great message to show.

Lastly, I do have to comment on the first time Eric sees the unicorn.  He doesn't have a crazy big reaction.  Yes, he reacts, but I would've gone nuts and questioned my sanity etc.  He does none of that. He really just accepts it!  It was just something I noted.  

Over-all good book for middle schoolers, but as an adult it had some weaknesses.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a very thoughtful review. I don't think I will read this, but it's good to know about it.