The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1)
Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he’d much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot’s very first day. Along with a new friend–brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux–Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.
My thoughts on this book:
Elliot is the new kid at school and very nervous about making friends, until he meets Uchenna. They have some things in common and become friends right away. On the bus they meet Professor Fauna, a scary looking man who will be their guide on their field trip to the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Professor Fauna warns them of the many dangers at the Pine Barrens.
“The Pine Barrens is not a safe place,” the professor intoned, his voice echoing over the gloomy path. “Many dangers are here. There are bears and coyotes and bobcats.”
On the tour they discover a swamp with carnivorous plants and other forest life. All of a sudden, Elliot and Uchenna hear some strange sounds coming from the woods and Uchenna is too inquisitive to not find the source. Elliot heads in after her and discovers one of the strangest creatures he’s ever seen. Can Elliot and Uchenna help rescue this beastly, magical creature? Soon they discover The Unicorn Rescue Society and learn that Professor Fauna may not be as scary as he looks.
We read A Tale Dark and Grimm a few years ago and when we saw that Adam Gidwitz came out with a new series titled The Unicorn Rescue Society, we were super excited! I ended up reading this with my kids and I think I enjoyed it as much as they did, finding it humorous and educational.
We loved the characters! Elliot loves reading; he’s intelligent and shy, whereas Uchenna loves music and she’s super fun and brave. They form a wonderful friendship and together must find a way to protect the magical creature they’ve discovered. Professor Fauna seems scary to them and has a secret the children must discover.
The plot is interesting and keeps you engaged. It’s a good book for reluctant readers or those just starting chapter books because the chapters are fairly short with illustrations to break up the story. We loved the illustrations as well.
Overall, this was a fun read. We already ordered The Basque Dragon–the second in the series–and can’t wait to start it.
5***** to The Creature of the Pines!
- Age Range: 8 – 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 – 7
- Series: The Unicorn Rescue Society (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (April 10, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735231702
- ISBN-13: 978-0735231702
More about The Unicorn Rescue Society:
Adam Gidwitz grew up in Baltimore. Now he lives in Brooklyn and teaches kids large and slightly less large at Saint Ann’s School. Adam only writes about what he’s experienced personally. So, while all of the strange, hilarious, and frightening things in A TALE DARK AND GRIMM really did happen to Hansel and Gretel, they also happened to Adam. Of course, if you’ve ever had a childhood, they’ve probably happened to you, too. – Amazon.