Title: Guardians of the Wild Unicorns
Author: Lindsay Littleson
Publication date: 21st February 2019
If you’re here for fluffy, cutesy, rainbow-coloured unicorns, then this book may not be for you. If you want a book about dark, quietly fierce, untamed (and untameable) mythical creatures, then stick around.
On the face of things, there is nothing exceptional about our protagonists, Rhona and Lewis. Two friends from a Glaswegian school on a field trip in the highlands of Scotland. Rhona can’t think of anything better, and Lewis would rather be anywhere else. But their friendship is pushed to the limit when they find themselves trying to save the last of the wild unicorns from an egotistical, greedy woman who has captured them.
Guardians of the Wild Unicorns has everything you need in an adventure book with a bit of fantasy thrown in. There is danger, friendship, and a bit of magic too. But it also offers something far more relevant to today’s society and offers a commentary on the experiences of children as well as the impact it has on their lives.
Take Rhona, for example, who is revealed to be a young carer to a parent with rheumatoid arthritis and mental health problems. There is no magic wand for Rhona but she does learn that there is help available if she will share her problems with people around her who she trusts.
Lewis, on the other hand, faces a different set of challenges. He joined his school later than his classmates as his parents separated. His father suffers from alcohol addiction, and now Lewis and his mum have moved and live in a smaller home. As a result, Lewis doesn’t always deal with things in the best way, much to the frustration of the rest of his class.
If I’ve made this book sounds heavy, then I apologise, as that is not my intention and it certainly is not heavy. It’s wonderful. But it’s also relevant. There are many children out there who will be able to relate to these characters and will have the message driven home to them that there is help out there, you just need to ask.
I don’t know whether I’ve just been unaware of it until recently, but Scottish children’s literature is on fire at the moment. I’ve read a few books by Scottish authors writing books set in Scotland and they’ve all be sensational. Guardians of the Wild Unicorns is no exception.
If you’re a primary school teacher please, please get this book on your shelves. It may just make a huge difference to a child’s life.
Many thanks to Kelpies for providing a copy of this book for an exchange for an honest review.
About the author
Lindsay Littleson is an author and primary school teacher in Renfrewshire. You can find Lindsay on Twitter.
Get your copy
Guardians of the Wild Unicorns is out on 21st February 2019. Get your copy here. Don’t forget to support your local indie bookshops.
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