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The Unicorn in the Barn
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The Unicorn in the Barn

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  618 ratings  ·  155 reviews
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  618 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read my interview with the author and my full review @

Have you ever seen a Unicorn? Eric has, and now his life may be changed forever.

Eric’s grandmother isn’t well and has been put into a nursing home. Her house is now being occupied by someone new, a girl named Allegra, and her mother, a veterinarian. One day, Eric stumbles upon Allegra pounding in a “No Trespassing” sign on the tree where his treehouse resides: his favorite place to be. They don’t s
 Li'l Owl
Harper's woods around Chinaberry Creek have belonged to Eric's family for as long as he can remember. His grandma lived in the farmhouse next door until she couldn't live at home anymore and had to move to a nursing home.
Now strangers live there.

Eric goes with his father and older brother to see his grandma every Sunday but it's not the same as when he could visit her at the farmhouse every day and he misses her so very much.

For years, people in Chinaberry have claimed that they've seen a whit
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This book completely surprised me. I read it in one sitting, and it is one the cutest damn books I've ever read! This is perfect for grade school kids, or us older kids who want some nostalgia from their own childhoods.

Anyone here a fan of Charlotte's Web? This book had that same feeling, and a lot of the same kind of messages. While a very unique and fun story on its own, I kept thinking of my joy of reading about Charlotte, Fern and Wilbur for the first time as I was reading this story. Charlo
Ms. Kelly
This is a very sweet and gentle read for younger fans not ready for the intensity of Harry Potter level fantasy, or for older fans looking for something soft to soothe their jaded aches.

Something I heard an ex-boyfriends father say many years ago came back to me when I read this book: People are meant to be used, but never abused.

By that, he meant that people have talents which you should use. You allow them to use. But you don’t ever take advantage of them. The main characters learn this lesson
I was lucky enough to hear the author speak at a bookstore recently and have her sign a copy I bought there.

I adore magical creatures, so how could I not love Moonpearl, the beautiful unicorn? And the illustrations by Rebecca Green are fanastic.

This was such a sweet story with very touching moments. I may not be a kid anymore, but my grandma is in a nursing home. Those parts about the visits were very realistic.
Rachel Libke
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the sweetest, most beautiful book I've read in a long time <3 ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Eric Harper is irritated when he sees a "No Trespassing" sign on his treehouse. He knows that his father had to sell his grandmother's house and some of their land to pay for her nursing home, but the treehouse is still his. He meets the new occupant of the house, Allegra Brancusi, who is living there with her mother, who is running a veterinary practice there. He also sees a shimmering white horse that appears to be hurt... but it turns out to be a real, l
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, young-reader
I read this one with my second grader. We both enjoyed it, but I think I liked it more than he did. He enjoyed the magical elements of the story, and that there were a lot of animals ("like Charlotte's Web," he said). But he thought some parts were sad (they were), and sometimes he wished the story moved a little faster.

I actually thought the pace of the story was perfect. And I appreciated how the book dealt with some more serious topics like aging, death, birth, and finding contentment and co
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a sweet story. 😭💛
Hafsa Sabira
Sep 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Probably a great book for the 3rd graders.
Miranda Paris
May 19, 2018 added it
Shelves: magic
There's a definite audience for this book. Interesting approach, very calm and a nice read.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
My 10 yr old son got this in one of this OwlCrate Jr and refused to read it because it looked too childish. This does end up looking like more of a kids book than a book aimed at middle grade readers. The print is very large and there are pictures throughout. I however don’t mind larger print :-) so I went ahead and read the book. This ends up being a cute and touching story about a boy who is dealing with his gma’s decline when he stumbles across something amazing in the barn that a veterinaria ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
My last summer read of 2018 was a sweet realistic fantasy that warmed my heart. Eric’s Family has to sell off part of their farm after his grandmother had a stroke and moved to a nursing home. The woman who bought it is a Veterinarian, and her daughter helps her take care of the animals. But Eric soon realizes it’s not just traditional animals in their care, but magical creatures, including a unicorn pregnant with twins. Since Eric knows their secret, they hire him to helping out. But as his gra ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love so much about this sweet little chapter book.

Just a few gripes:

My biggest issue with the story is that Eric’s brother seems to be written as an inconsistent character. A kind soul who loves his Grandma and spending his days cooking, or a bad boy who taunts his brother and whose friends like to use guns?

I also didn’t fall in love with Eric himself. I felt like he always had his own agenda and didn’t respect authority all that much.

That all being said...

The unicorn? The magic? The grandma?
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good story for middle grade school kids! They'll love reading about the unicorn and other magical animals the new animal vet treats! Eric, the boy who lives next door to the vet, discovers the unicorn when the vet and her daughter put up a Keep Out sign on the property where his tree house is. They live in the home of his grandmother, now that his beloved grandmother is in a nursing home. I am sure kids 8-11 will enjoy this tale!
I received a Kindle Arc in exchange for a fair review fro
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The main character in this book was SO ANNOYING. It just got to be too much to handle after awhile. The cat in this book was prob my favorite character! So funny.

"Grief takes its own time to unfold".
Suzanne Maley
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I would give this 3 1/2 stars because the first half seemed to wander somewhat. The writing greatly improved in the second half so much so that I would love to read another book about Eric and Harper's Woods.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A cute children's tale which will make your imagination run wild and make your children's heart believe again. I truly loved it, and I think this would be a great tale to read to children.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and how the author used a magical creature and used it to relate to real life situations. Not only was the writing was breath taking but the storyline was just beautiful....
Susan Beecher
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Charming elementary school age book about a boy and the vet and her daughter on the next door farm who treat some pretty magical animals.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was a really cute kids story! Very easy to read, slightly illustrated. Deals a lot with grief and ethics than I expected! A good story with good morals for kiddos.
Ashley Lynne
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really cute and sweet story!
I really liked how detailed it was about the unicorn being birthed. I thought that was refreshingly informative for a kids book.
And I gotta say...the part bear the end about giving CPR with “one two three four staying alive, staying alive” reminded me of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and props if you know what episode I’m talking about!
All in all, I really liked this one, for a kids book.
And the illustrations were nice and cute as well!

Oooh I also forgot t
Chantele Sedgwick
Nov 26, 2017 added it
Shelves: own
Cute middle grade about a boy and a unicorn. Fun characters and overall a feel good story.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I usually don't like books about magical animals.. but this one makes you like the characters.. especially Eric the boy who loves MoonPearl and the vet.. even the people with prickly traits are believable... A rather abrupt ending though...

Another suggested title from a Hamilton County Reading Council meeting held at Barnes & Noble.
Mary Catelli
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
A boy, our narrator, discovers a girl putting up "No Trespassing" signs on his family's land -- he tells her that her mother had not bought that part. Then he goes up into a treehouse and sees a unicorn, limping.

Following it takes him onto the land they had sold, where the new owner was a vet, and gets him caught even though he was just trying to see if the unicorn was all right. It gets him a job working there after some talk.

The details of his life come out as he works with a half-invisible c
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Check out this review and more on my blog!

The Unicorn in the Barn was the July book in the OwlCrate Jr. box. I was a little behind with how many books I wanted to read in July, so I picked this one up as a quick read and it ended up being a fun one! This book had a cute story, adorable illustrations that definitely added to the story, and a plot with really no lulls.

I always love a story with magical creatures and I wanted to be a vet when I was younger – how could I not love a book about a vet
Sarah  Aubert
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The Unicorn in the Barn is the latest in the series of books that I've selected to read through with my kids. Fans of anything with animals (and with one of them currently intent on being a veterinarian when she grows up) this story of a young boy who discovers a unicorn living in the Vet-next-door's barn seemed like a slam dunk. And, thankfully, for me two wee ones, it was. Were you getting the review of my 4 and 5-year-olds this would undoubtedly sit firmly in the 5 star category. Our read thr ...more
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Just one look at the cover, and I knew this book was going to be amazing. The stunning and magical designs caught my attention right away. I may no longer be a kid, but the kid deep in my heart was thrilled at the sight of it! The main character, Eric, was so tenderhearted and fun. His innocence and childlike ways were amusing to read as an adult. Though I am sure that a kid or young adult would relate to him more than I did. Still, the characters were a lot of fun from Eric's grandmother to the ...more
Nicole B.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
An ARC was provided me by the publisher.

This was a fun, light read. My seven-year-old really enjoyed it. I was pretty disappointed to come across language I deemed inappropriate for this level at just one small part more than halfway into the book. (The book labels it for ages 10-12 and grades 5-7.) Really? Why? I want my child to be able to pick up any book in the children's section without the risk of him adopting a profane phrase.

Also, I thought it was interesting that there was a positive as
Christine Lemieux
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eric Harper is a boy living in the country with his father and brother. His grandma used to live right next door but, due to illness, she has sold her property to live in a retirement home. Eric is lonely; he misses his grandma and worries a lot about her. One night, after awakening in his treehouse, he discovers a beast with a shimmering coat that is seemingly hurt... From there, Eric’s life takes a whole new turn when he meets the new girl next door, Allegra. They get off to a rough start, but ...more
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