Monday, June 12, 2017

The Unicorn in the Barn

One night Eric sees what he thinks is the fabled white stag that people have been hunting for years, but he quickly realizes this animal is something else.  Its fur is luminous like a pearl, and when it turns its head, he sees a single horn.  The animal is a unicorn.

This magical discovery leads him to the new veterinarian who recently bought his grandmother's farm.  The house has been converted to a normal veterinary clinic, but she secretly treats magical animals with the help of her daughter, Allegra.  They've been treating the unicorn for an infection in her foot, and now that Eric has discovered the truth, he gets to help out.

Moonpearl is not just a horse with a horn.  Like all unicorns, she has the power to heal, and she can understand many languages, and she communicates with the humans with the help of Timothy, the half invisible Cheshire cat.

Even though Moonpearl's foot is healing, she is pregnant with twins and due in the winter, so she decides to stick around to make sure everything goes well.

As Eric enjoys his newfound responsibilities and his relationship with Moonpearl, his grandmother's health is getting worse in a nursing home.  He struggles to communicate his feeling with his father and older brother, but when he is with his grandmother and Moonpearl, he feels calm and confident.  As Moonpearl's pregnancy progresses, Eric's grandmother's health begins to fail. Could it be possible for Moonpearl to heal his grandmother?

Jacqueline Ogburn's new book is a beautiful story of magical realism where fantasy creatures are perfectly at home in the mundane world, but it is also a gentle story about love, loss, and family.  Highly recommended, especially for grades 4-6.

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