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

by Adam Gidwitz (Author) Hatem Aly (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade
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 Fauna, the weirdest teacher Elliot has ever met. And the only kid who will talk to Elliot, Uchenna Devereaux, isn't afraid of danger. She likes danger.

Elliot and Uchenna are about to become part of 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.

Join Elliot and Uchenna on their very first quest as members of the Unicorn Rescue Society in this fantasy-adventure series from Adam Gidwitz, the beloved bestselling and Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitors Tale and A Tale Dark & Grimm.

Illustrated throughout, this is the perfect fit for newly independent readers looking for a story full of adventure, fun, and friendship.
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Publishers Weekly

Kicking off the Unicorn Rescue Society series is a middle grade story filled with twists and turns and narrated in a fresh, fun style. Gidwitz (The Inquisitor's Tale) introduces animal enthusiast and basically "normal kid," Elliot Eisner, whose first day at his new school is anything but ordinary. His class takes a field trip to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a forested area on the coast. On the bus ride, he befriends Uchenna Devereaux, who also started school late the previous year. While in the Pine Barrens with Miss Vole (their teacher), classmates, and a visiting instructor, the secretive and strange Professor Fauna, they hear of superstitions and tales that turn out to be real after Elliot and Uchenna come across a mysterious creature. The encounter ultimately leads them to the Unicorn Rescue Society, a group of adventurers committed to protecting mythological animals from the likes of the Schmoke brothers, two dastardly businessmen. Gidwitz delivers a quick-witted fantasy focused on supposedly imaginary creatures and finding like-minded friends, told from Elliot's fresh, young perspective. Though Elliot and Uchenna's burgeoning friendship and cooperation are emphasized, a more subtle lesson about fallibility and recovering from mistakes demonstrates slightly more complex, and necessary, life skills. Ages 8-up. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Co. (Apr.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Adam Gidwitz
Adam Gidwitz taught in Brooklyn for eight years. Now, he writes full time--which means he writes a couple of hours a day, and lies on his couch staring at the ceiling the rest of the time. As is the case with all of his books, everything in them not only happened in the real fairy all also happened to him. Really. Learn more at, on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter: @AdamGidwitz
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication date
August 20, 2019
The Unicorn Rescue Society
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV022000 - Juvenile Fiction | Legends, Myths, & Fables | General
JUV016000 - Juvenile Fiction | Historical | General
Library of Congress categories
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship
Animal rescue
Animals, Mythical
JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / G
JUVENILE FICTION / Historical / General
Animal fiction

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