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The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #1)
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The Creature of the Pines

(The Unicorn Rescue Society #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,140 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Unicorns are real. (At least we think they are.)

Are you ready to protect the creatures of myth and legend? Then you belong in The Unicorn Rescue Society. HURRY! THE CREATURES NEED YOU!

Elliot Eisner isn't exactly thrilled with the first day at his new school. His class is going on a field trip to a creepy forest called the Pine Barrens. The trip is being led by Professor Fa
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  1,140 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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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
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: younger
This is definitely for younger readers than I usually get books for, that level where they make the print larger, but a little too advanced for my niece who is in Kindergarten, there are some advanced words like "melange" and she hasn't learned about the Eastern states yet and she isn't into unicorns, of which the book has none in any case -- why do have I have this book? I don't know. It wasn't on my to-read list and I don't recall ordering it. It just appeared, like a small blue Jersey Devil a ...more
Mary Ann
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gidwitz has hit such a great balance between short, engaging chapters and a mystery that makes you want to learn more. I also love how intentionally inclusive he is with his storytelling. Full review here: Great Kid Books ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amelie, hardcover
Read through with the kid. This is a fun new series for young middle grade readers, and my daughter loves it. I like that it has both facts about the natural world and the mythical. My daughter likes the humor and the fast paced dialogue, as well as the friendship between Elliot and Uchenna. Based on book 1, we've already ordered the next two in the series!
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Unicorns are Real, and there are many dangerous things in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.

Elliot Eisner is nervously making his way through his first day of school, which happens to coincide with a field trip to the Pine Barrens. Fatefully he meets Uchenna Devereaux on the way and they begin a fabulous romp through both the Pine Barrens and their town.

I loved Elliot's nervous factual recitations, and Uchenna's guts, also her taste for red chuck taylors. Dr. Fauna is gloriously weird (do you thi
Jillian Heise
This is going to be a fantastic series for my elementary library! And I love that future books will be co-written by Adam Gitwitz and an author from the culture of the magical creature focused on in that book.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
A fantastic start to an incredible new series! Witty, engaging, moving, all the good stuff.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Highly entertaining, funny, fast-paced. Excellent early chapter book for confident young readers (there’s some Latin thrown in here, just for taxonomic purposes).
Michele Knott
I lost track of how many times I laughed out loud while reading this one - definitely a good sign that this book is meant to be read aloud to children. Can’t wait for more in this series.
New kid Elliot and Uchenna become fast friends and also quickly discover that the world they live in has mystical creatures!

I love Adam Gidwitz's books. He has a wonderful way of writing and his books always make me laugh. I am delighted that he started a new series this time featuring a Unicorn Rescue Society (though they have never seen any unicorns).

In this one our new kid Elliot finds out that the first day of his new school is starting of with a field trip to a forest not that far away. He
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was way more enjoyable than I initially anticipated. It's engaging, and fast-paced, and the characters are lovely. The dialogue between the kids and the way teachers and grown-ups are depicted has a lighthearted and amusing tone. I would definitely recommend to children who like reading adventure/action stories with magical creatures + who like books with great friendships.
Kayla Nickolan-Ortiz
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I give it a 5 because I like unicorns and it was so interesting when Elliot and Uchenna went off to the woods and found the pine in the deep woods
Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
very cute, I had a great time reading this one with my twins! Pretty silly, and exciting for them!
Jordan Henrichs
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
My gut reaction was more of a 2-star rating, but I have never rated anything by Gidwitz less than 5 stars and the copy I read was an ARC. So, I'm rounding my gut reaction up to a 3.

The Creature of the Pines just felt so wimpy to me, almost lazy. From the characters, to the dialogue, to the plot. However, whenever I felt like I wanted more depth, I had to remind myself that the intended audience is much younger than that of Gidwitz's previous fare. Maybe this will work on the younger set. I trus
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Gidwitz humor is right on the mark. This would be a great (funny) read aloud. Also I totally want Jersey Devil as a pet now. For readers who like a dose of myth in their adventures. Read alike for Pip Bartlett series and Imaginary Veterinary series.
Julie Kirchner
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Humor, mythological creatures, and adventure! What a great combination for a new middle grade series by Adam Gidwitz. I’m confident this will be one my early middle grade readers will love. Looking forward to hearing what they think and to book 2!
Erin Downing
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny and clever!
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm always on the lookout for fantasy/speculative books for middle grade readers that aren't really long and difficult. Not all readers are ready or able to take on Harry Potter or The Lightning Thief. So I was really interested when I heard about this series. And it didn't disappoint. With a couple of fun, but quite different characters combined with an unusual mentor and a delightful mythological creature at the heart of things, The Creature of the Pines works well for younger readers. The sto ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it liked it
being many years past middle grade age i will try not to be too hash with my review... i loved Gidwitz's "A Tale Dark and Grimm" series fabulously, they were so funny and ceepy and action-packed and informative... this book did not do that for me, sadly... kinda cute, kinda funny, kinda interesting, kinda quirky... kinda average though too... just not enough depth to get swept up in it... again, i am old (surely MG age children would say that, and wonder how i'm not dead already!!), but i have b ...more
Dan Rogers
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun enjoyable selection to read to my Grandchildren. Each time I would stop for the day they would plead for just one more chapter. They couldn’t get enough. Quality time and they’ve been kept in the edge if their seats with anticipation.
Sean Harding
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
First book in another fantasy lite series complete with unicorns of course, hence the name of the series, is pretty forgettable stuff, and all very by the numbers average, some will like it, some will hate it, most will not remember it.
I wanted more from this. I think maybe the first two books were originally one big book that was later split up into two shorter ones. To me, it takes too long for not many things to happen in this first installment.... hopefully it will get better!
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was ridiculous. And bad. And terrible. I loved Gidwitz's other books.
Karen Arendt
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the voice and humor in this book. I was hesitant to read a unicorn book thinking it would not appeal to boys. This book has two diverse characters- a boy and a girl. The creature of the pines was also not a unicorn. This was a fun story with a scary professor and evil bad guys. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining. All the characters are a delight. I especially life Doctor Doctor Fauna's Spanglish. Can't wait to see what happens in the rest of the series.
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was a really really really good book!📚📚📚📚📚📚📚
Peter Jones
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
My daughter loved this. Immediately upon finishing: "can we get the next one?"
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-kids
Kids loved it. Mythical creatures are always a win. I liked the diverse characters, and it was entertaining enough that I enjoyed it too.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
I enjoy Gidwitz's writing. He always has a good balance of humor and action. The story moves quickly with nice, short chapters and sporadic illustrations. This would make a good read aloud. Felt like a good book for a 2nd/3rd grader. Note: there are no unicorns in this one. I assume there will be in future installments, but if you pick this up for a unicorn loving kid (like I did thinking about my niece), then just a heads up. There is a fun little creature in it, but no unicorns in book one.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
When Elliot moves to a new town, his first day of school includes a field trip with the very unusual Professor Fauna. While hiking in the woods, he and Uchenna hear a sound in the woods and discover a Jersey Devil in peril. They save the Jersey Devil only to end up accidentally taking it home and rescuing it from a very unusual mansion.

Action packed and sure to appeal to chapter book readers looking for a fun, quick, and exciting read. This book is a bit easier than Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Gr
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