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Paperback The Young Unicorns: Book Three of the Austin Family Chronicles Book

ISBN: 0312379331

ISBN13: 9780312379339

The Young Unicorns: Book Three of the Austin Family Chronicles

(Book #3 in the Austin Family Chronicles Series)

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Book three of the Austin Family Chronicles, an award-winning young adult series from Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time, about a girl who experiences the difficulties and joys of growing up.

"A first-rate suspense story." --The Washington Post Book World

The Austins are trying to settle into their new life in New York City, but their once close-knit family is pulling away from each other. Their...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Interesting Mystery

In "The Young Unicorns", we meet up with the Austin family, who are now living in New York City, as Dr. Austin is working on a research project. We also meet 2 new L'Engle characters. Dave, who used to be in a gang called the Alphabats, and Emily, a blind girl who at times stays with the Austins. Dave now reads Emily her homework, as she can't read it herself. When bizarre things begin happening to the Austin family, and a bishop begins acting strangely, the Austin children begin to worry, and decide, with the help of Dave and Emily, to solve the mystery. But what they don't realize at the time, is that getting involved may cost them their lives.We all know that L'Engle writes amazing coming-of-age novels, but, after reading "The Young Unicorns", I now know that she also writes amazing mystery/suspense/sci-fi novels. This was an amazingly interesting book, and readers, whether previous L'Engle fans or not, will relish in her character descriptions, and adventure. A must have book.Erika Sorocco

L'Engle Suspense

As she does in all her novels, Madeleine L'Engle hides several powerful themes in the plot and narration of "The Young Unicorns". It is about more than just a bizarre plot to take over New York--or the Austin family's year in the city--or a child prodigy who was blinded in a mysterious accident. It is about all of these at once, and more; and they way these threads are woven together is magnificent.The Austins (sans John, who is at M.I.T.) take supporting roles in this novel. On centerstage are a colorful, wonderful group of characters, new and old: Emily Gregory, the child prodigy with such perfect hearing that she can echolocate; Josiah Davidson, both a former choirboy and a former gang member, who has become Emily's friend; Mr. Theo, Emily's crotchety, yet brilliant, music teacher; and Tom Tallis, an English priest who is also an international sleuth.The mystery begins almost immediately. Emily rubs a lamp and appears to call up a genie. Is there a connection between this incident and the attack that left her blind? A connection between the attack and Dr. Austin's secret medical research? A connection between the research and a plot to rule New York? A connection between the plot and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine? A connection between the Cathedral and a street gang called the Alphabats? A connection between the Alphabats and Tom Tallis, who just broke up a crime ring in Portugal? (For more on _that_, read "The Arm of the Starfish".) The answer is YES: mystery, suspense, sci-fi, good vs evil, and even coming-of-age themes all come together in this excellent book; and the setting, New York City in "parlous times," becomes very real.I have had my copy of "The Young Unicorns" for six years, but only recently did I see how beautifully L'Engle made her point that true freedom comes only through submission to a divine order. Her title comes from the apocryphal writings of St. Macrina, who described young people who cannot be "tamed," until and unless they give their consent, as young unicorns. Whether the characters (or the readers) are like Emily, who has given her consent, or like Dave, who hasn't, they recognize that they are part of the great web of life that both gives free will and demands obedience. As she always does, L'Engle makes readers fully aware of life and very eager to live.

one of the best books I ever read

Because this is a Madeline L'Engle book, you'll know it's a terrific book. It is about a teenager named Dave who used to be in a gang called the Alphabats, but now reads homework to a blind little girl named Emily. Afetr about 50 pages the book starts to talk about how Emily got blinded, and why she could have been blinded. The book talks about many things at once, including a very strange bishop that was acting out of character. Dave eventually meets this bishop, and finds out that there is more going on in the Alphabat gang then just robberies and graffiti. The book gets very interesting very quickly, and I couldn't put it down. It has a shocking ending, and even though all the plots seem all over the place, they all come together in the end.

A fabulous book containing universal truths

A Wrinkle in Time has always been my favorite book, and I was hesistant to read L'Engle's other stories because I had grown so attatched to the Murrays/O'Keefe's. This book was my final Austin family novel, and I must say, if by far my favorite. This novel, while having the classic L'Engle good-triumphing ending, was full of the darker side of life. Like Arm of the Starfish, this book made me very aware that there is evil in the world. At yet, at the same time, this evil can be combatted through love and trust. It's an incredibly powerful story, with amazing twists and characters you won't soon forget. Another reason I simply adore this book is because it is very clear that Chronos and Kairos are crossing here. Canon Tallis, Mr. Theo, Emily, Dave . . . they all reappear (or have appeared) in other books. It's wonderful to have that kind of connection with a character. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for themselves in a world where black and white are sometimes purple.

Wonderful, insightful;last reader superficial,misunderstood

This is an excellent book with many unexpected twists throughout the plot. It brings up morality in all facets: the church, science, and the family. It addresses many modern-day issues and shows how things are not always what they initially seem. I was very upset by the last review. Madeleine L'Engle is not saying that a family without a mother staying home and doing the cooking is a bad family. Many of her books have mothers who do work, and I think that her message is more that a family is what you make of it, whether there is one parent or two, one child or many children, whether you live in the city or the country. Also, L'Engle writes about Caucasions because that is what she knows. She is not being rascist. I think her messages are universal, and different skin color doesn't change your humanness or your susceptibility to danger or sinfulness or vulnerability. The writer of that review was being more rascist than L'Engle, because he/she was implying that there ARE differences between races, and there are not. It's not as though L'Engle beats it into the readers' heads that she writes about caucasions; it's just what she does, and it is not part of the messages she is trying to convey through her writing. That reader was looking at the most superficial and unimportant aspect of the book. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in something that addresses issues larger than who's dating whom and what's on TV. It is a book that will stay on the edge of your mind for months, and that you will want to reread again and again to learn more insight.
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