Synopsis: Gloria and the Unicorn is a story that will delight you as well as pull on your heart strings as Gloria struggles with her facial disfigurement and wanting to fit in. Gloria’s mother died at birth and her father gave her to Miss Libby, the owner of a children’s home. Miss Libby loves the little girl and feels protective of her. But, it’s not until Sir Louie, the unicorn, shows up that Gloria starts to believe in herself. She has a conflict at school and never wants to go back and then she finds herself in an even worse situation; she encounters the evil Wizards of Malcadore who want to kill her. She must decide if she will face her fear of certain death to save her friend, Sir Louie, or lose him forever. Come along on Gloria’s marvelous journey with Sir Louie.
My Take: Some of my favorite books when I was little were The littlest Unicorn, The Last Unicorn, and The Unicorn and the Dragon, so when I was offered an advanced reader copy of Gloria and the Unicorn, it harkened back to my youth and I just couldn't say no! This is a really cute early mid-grade story dealing with empathy, self-esteem, love, and fear. I loved it! Although it is geared more towards early readers (I would say 1st-3rd grade) my 13 year old saw me reading it, and asked if he could read it too. (What can I say, he's a brony! If it has a horse or unicorn, he's bound to read it! What can I say, he comes by it honestly. Love that kiddo and his kind heart!)
I particularly love Sir Louie's innocence, striving to help Gloria, despite never having done anything like this before, and not really understanding sadness (because unicorns can't feel sadness. They are all about happiness, love, and joy.) The author does a wonderful job of dealing with some pretty heavy topics (deformity, death, loss of a parent) without being to heavy handed with the topics. I definitely recommend this a great reading to teach empathy and acceptance, as well as the power of love over fear.