The ‘Unicorn Rescue Society’ Series, Books 1 – 4 by Adam Gidwitz

The ‘Unicorn Rescue Society’ Series, Books 1 – 4 by Adam Gidwitz
December 28, 2019 Alexandra Adlawan

Now here’s a series of book I wish had been around when I was a kid. I love mythical creatures. I used to make long lists of all the mythical creatures I knew of in alphabetical order.

3rd Grade and Up

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

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.

 

Elliot and Uchenna remind me of my own book characters Albert and Maddie, which if probably why I love them so much. Elliot is shy, nervous and intelligent while Uchenna iswild, adventurous and reckless.These two opposites somehow make the perfect mythical creature rescue team. I’m hoping to make a fun fanart sketch of Elliot and Uchenna with Maddie and Albert. Leave a message in the comment section if you want to see this sketch.

 

Professor Fauna is basically Dr. Emmett Brown from the movie Back to the Future with longer, crazier hair and an even crazier personality. The Schmoke Brothers are the stereotypical selfish billionaire businessmen who only do things to benefit themselves.

 

A running theme in this series is that in each story a specific mythical creature will be featured along with the history of the area it lives in. This book’s featured creature is the Jersey Devil, a New Jersey folklore. The story’s representation of the creature is, in my opinion, very cute.

 

The Basque Dragon (Unicorn Rescue Society, #2)

Elliot and Uchenna have barely recovered from their first adventure with the Unicorn Rescue Society when the mysterious Professor Fauna approaches them with an all-new quest. And this time, they’re going to have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Basque Country of northern Spain. Elliot and Uchenna, with Jersey in tow, soon wonder whether their newest, fire-breathing rescue might be more than they can handle. And why do the evil-doing Schmoke Brothers seem to be involved yet again?

 

This second book takes place where the first book left off. The kids don’t even get a day to rest before they’re off on another adventure.

 

This book’s featured creature is the herensuge, a mythical dragon in Basque mythology. I enjoyed learning about the Basque Country’s history, people, culture, and language; the Basque language is unlike any other language and is completely unique.

 

Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot (Unicorn Rescue Society, #3)

Professor Fauna whisks the kids – and Jersey, of course – off to the Muckleshoot territory in Washington, where film crews have suddenly descended to expose Bigfoot to the world, and the Schmoke logging company is bringing in some awfully large machinery.
Can the Unicorn Rescue Society escape the blades of the Schmokes’ chain saws? Outsmart a cable news team? And are those big, hairy creatures running through the forest really Bigfoot?

 

This book’s featured creature is Bigfoot a.k.a. Sasquatch a.k.a. Bigfeets.

 

The Muckleshoot is in fact a real Native America Tribe and everything in this story has been authenticated by real members of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Even the pronunciation of Muckleshoot words in the audiobook are correct. I’m impressed by how they were able to summarize how much the Native American got gypped by the Europeans in just a 6-page chapter.

 

Bit of a spoiler, a new young character debuts in this story and she takes a liking to Elliot. It’s both cringy and adorable. I’m hoping she’ll show up again in a future adventure.

 

By the way, Uchenna’s name is pronounced Ooo-CHEN-ah for those of you who have a hard time pronouncing names.

 

The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande (Unicorn Rescue Society, #4)

Elliot and Uchenna have only just returned from their most recent Unicorn Rescue Society mission when Professor Fauna whisks them away (Jersey, too!), on their next exciting adventure. This time, they’re headed to Laredo, on the U.S.-Mexican border to help another mythical creature in need: the chupacabras.
Teaming up with local kids Lupita and Mateo Cervantes – plus their brilliant mother, Dr. Alejandra Cervantes and her curandero husband Israel – the kids struggle to not only keep the chupacabras safe, but also to bring a divided community together once more.

 

This book’s featured creatures are the chupacabras, legendary creatures who live in both Mexico and the southeastern United States.

 

This story including regional history, culture and weighs heavily on current events, specially the wall bordering the United States and Mexico. It’s made clear throughout many points in this book that the authors are anti-border wall. They make a few good points but it’s just that the whole situation is sad because some people aren’t willing to follow the law.

 

The next book in the series will be published in May 2020 and will take place in Cuba. I’m hoping for many more adventures in far off places like Australia, Japan, China and less known countries.

 

For more info, check out the Unicorn Rescue Society’s website. It features description of the characters and an animated introduction video for the series:

http://www.unicornrescuesociety.com

 

This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Mythical Creatures

According to New Jersey folklore, the Jersey Devil is a creature with the head of a goat, bat wings, and a forked tail.

Dinosaur bones were mistaken for dragon bones when they were discovered more than 2,000 years ago.

By law, you cannot purposely harm Bigfoot in Skamania County, Washington.

Legendary Chupacabra may actually have been coyotes with an ugly-looking skin disease.

 

Well that’s it for 2019! See you all next year!

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