The Unicorn in the Barn

Book Information
Rating: Outstanding
Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate
Author: Jacqueline K. Ogburn
Illustrator: Rebecca Green
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Year: 2017
ISBN: 9780544761124
Pages: 290

After discovering a unicorn and following it to a vet's barn, Eric is hired by Dr. B to help take care of the unicorn and help with the clinic. Eric takes the job eager to help out with the unicorn, despite disliking Dr. B's daughter, Allegra. The job is harder than he expects, but the joy of the unicorn makes it worthwhile. Eric also has to deal with his grandmother's failing health and hopes the unicorn can help her get better. The plot generally follows his daily life after school at the vet and the weekend trips to see his grandmother. The climax of the story is the death of his grandmother and the birth of twin unicorns.

The story is not the most gripping tale. However, it is a sweet story that young readers will enjoy. It deals with life and death through the work at the clinic and through the health struggles of the grandmother. It frames these issues in a way that young readers can understand. One merit to this book is the main character. Eric is fairly mature for his age, while still having the innocence of a child. It is also interesting that while this story is about a unicorn, Ogburn chose to make the main character a boy instead of a girl, making the story universal rather than a "girl book." This story can teach children many lessons about life, and is therefore worth the read.