Author: R.R. Russell
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: May, 2013
GoodReads Summary: Deep in the heart of a mist-shrouded island, an impossible secret is about to be discovered.
Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for "troubled" girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.
Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.
A baby unicorn. Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island's mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig's to care for. That she needs Twig's love and protection. Because there's something out there in the deep, dense shadows that's hunting for them...
What I Think: I haven't read very many unicorn books in my life...it's been a while actually unless you cound Zombies Vs. Unicorns but that's a collection of short stories and for an older audience. What struck me the most about the stories in Zombies Vs. Unicorns and what is also evident in Wonder Light is that most of the authors take unicorns, these wonderfully magical beings but make them more hardcore. The unicorns in Wonder Light are definitely fierce and determined. The main character, Twig, finds herself off on an adventure with this mysterious boy, Ben, and her baby unicorn. I got sucked into the story, anxious to find out where the mystery and adventure would lead Twig and her unicorn. I think kids who like adventure and possibly horses would enjoy reading this book. You might warn them that if they read this book, they're going to be wishing the second book was already available.
Read Together: Grades 4 - 6
Read Alone: Grades 4 - 6
Read With: The Humming Room by Ellen Potter
Snatch of Text: "Twig didn't want to keep talking. she wanted to run out of that stable. But the solid wood of the stall door seemed to be enough to hold the animal back. The other girls whispered to each other behind her while she kept whispering nonsense. As she calmed the horse, Twig felt herself calming too. The other girls were transfixed, but not scared. If she could settle this thing like an ordinary horse, then maybe it was just an ordinary horse, not a ghost at all. Thought the word ordinary hardly fit such an animal."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Making Inferences
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time in your life when you were in a situation you didn't want to be in where you felt alone.
Topics Covered: Family, Friends, Adventure, Risk-Taking, Courage, Determination, Trust
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