Dec, 3, 2016: Author Open House and Book Signing, Columbia Public Library, 10:00 – 2:00, Columbia, MO
Oct. 22, 2016: Book Review, Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers’ Favorite ****
The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins is a great novel for a younger audience that teaches readers how to deal with absence. Lisa’s life is about to change. She’s a senior in high school and exploring college. Her brother is part of the crew of a clipper called the Northern Star for the summer. She has to do a paper on the historical Mirabelle Manor. The more she learns about the manor, the more it parallels to her life. Mirabelle was an original owner of the manor, married to Captain Hutchings. Mirabelle would wait for weeks to receive letters about her husband’s welfare, using her status to comfort the other families of the crew. When the Northern Star becomes lost at sea, Lisa finds solace in the journal of Mirabelle, using her experiences to find comfort as she waits for news of her brother. Through the connection she feels with the late owner, she’s able to process her own fear and find hope.
The Unicorn Tree is the perfect comfort for juvenile readers who have a parent or relative away on a dangerous job. It gives them something to relate to. Lisa pushes people away, but she stays strong for her parents and uses the manor as comfort. Cynthia Collins gives younger readers someone who knows what they’re going through. Lisa’s brother is lost at sea in a hurricane. This situation can easily be applied to someone at war, in the navy, going into a hurricane to help those in need, or any other risk taking job. It can be hard for people to work through fear and it can feel like no one else understands. The Unicorn Tree is that understanding. It’s a comforting novel that’s real, heartfelt, and a little bit mystical. A must-read!
Nov. 2016: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 2016 Winter Reading List, mid-South section under grades 9-12.
Nov. 26, 2016: Institute of Children’s Literature, Winners Circle, Interview