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The Creature of the Pines: The Unicorn Rescue Society    by Adam Gidwitz & Hatem Aly order for
Creature of the Pines
by Adam Gidwitz
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2018 (2018)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Creature of the Pines is the first book in Adam Gidwitz's Unicorn Rescue Society chapter book series, illustrated by Hatem Aly and aimed at young readers aged eight to twelve.

The story opens on Elliot Eisner's first day at a new school. Terrifying Professor Fauna (a social studies teacher who's said to believe in unicorns) takes the class on a field trip into the strange Pine Barrens, warning them of mortal danger in the forest. On the bus, Elliot befriends Uchenna Devereaux, 'who looked like the lead singer in a punk rock band.'

When they hear growling, Uchenna leaves the group to investigate, soon followed by a very frightened Elliot. They rescue a small winged creature tangled in a ribbon, to find out later that it's a very hungry Jersey Devil! He purrs at them and accompanies them, hidden in a backpack.

Of course, this leads to trouble, which sends them to Professor Fauna for help. They team together to rescue their small new friend, who in turn rescues them. As this episode ends, Professor Fauna enrolls the two in a secret society, one that protects mythical creatures from danger. This first Unicorn Rescue Society adventure has lots happening and is tons of fun.

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