About The Book: 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... — Goodreads
First Line: Keely turned off the ignition and pointed at the haunted island.
Great Passage: "Mrs. Murley hadn't expected Twig to say anything back. Not like her teachers. She'd stopped talking to them when Daddy got deployed. She'd gotten so full of stuff on the inside that she made herself blank on the the outside"(53).
What Others Are Saying: "In this atmospheric debut, the unassuming and subtle fantasy elements take a backseat to Twig's growing faith in herself and trust in others.The combination of horses, unicorns, and an offbeat girl is a winning one." -Booklist
Bloggers Weigh In:
What I Thought: I loved Twig as a character. When she arrived at the island she felt empty and numb, it wasn't until she moved out of her comfort zone and risked following her instincts that she began to grow. Everyone can relate to that kind of struggle and Russell does a good job of conveying Twig's fears and doubts. The chapters are short and always ended with a question about what was going to happen. This fantasy will keep a middle grader wanting more, but not overwhelmed.
About The Author: R. R. Russel
Who: R.R. Russell lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. She grew up traveling the world as an army brat and now travels the country as a coach with a nonprofit judo club. She loves to read and draw, and like Twig, once spent a lot of time sketching unicorns.