The enchanting and heartwarming series comes to a close. Here’s what to expect in this third and final book:
When Sam and Tuck discover a way to unlock the answers they’ve been seeking, they must set out to discover the truth…
For Sam, knowing a little about her mother’s disappearance through the portal is almost worse than knowing nothing at all. Determined to distract herself, she tries to learn everything possible about caring for the herd on Unicorn Island. But when she and her friend Tuck stumble on a coded verse in The Unicorn Protector Creed, they are faced with an even greater task. With no way of knowing what’s beyond it, Sam, Tuck, and Barloc the unicorn step through the portal and find that not only is Sam’s mother no longer a unicorn protector, she also lives in a world plagued by its own problems—and convinced that the only solution to them rests in the horn on Barloc’s head. With the portal closing at sundown on the third day, Sam and Tuck are in a race to rescue their friend, reunite their families, and save another world from a terrible fate of its own making!
UNICORN ISLAND Beyond the Portal is an engaging finale to this epic series. I previously featured the first and second book here at ALWAYS in the MIDDLE. I suggest starting from the beginning so as to not miss out on any of the background details or plot points.
Sam and Tuck’s journey through the portal to a different place is full of twists and turns sure to engage young readers. I love when a series draws a fitting conclusion, leaving no open plot points. Beyond the Portal succeeds in dazzling fashion. Themes of family and friendship are embedded not only with the human characters but also the beloved unicorn, Barloc.
Most of the story takes place in the mysterious town of Crag Haven. Sam and Tuck find answers but also the possibility of being trapped there. Left behind are worried families who have no idea where they have gone. In page turning fashion the trilogy closes on a high note. No spoilers here.
The Unicorn Island series is the perfect match for grade 4 and up, especially those less enthusiastic readers. Story telling at its finest!
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT: UNICORN ISLAND, Beyond the Portal by Donna Galanti
The bold and beautiful illustrations appear throughout, many in full page splendor. Bravo to Bethany Stancliffe for making her images connect so well with the story.
The character arcs for not only Sam and Tuck, but also for Sylvia, Sam’s mother. They are perfectly crafted.
The extra pages in the back delve into THE HISTORY OF CODED MESSAGES; THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER; COLIC; HORSEBACK RIDING; and THE HEALING POWERS OF UNICORN HORNS. Great addition for readers.
The text layout and typeset is appealing to the eyes. Most novels these days in the under 13 category can be packed with 250-300 words per page. Unicorn Island brings it closer to 150, making the pages much more manageable for a new reader of novels.
Great adventures need compelling characters, an extraordinary situation, and a journey of discovery. Unicorn Island Beyond the Portal hits the mark on all three.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donna Galanti wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote a mystery screenplay at seven and acted it out with the neighborhood kids. She attended an English school, housed in a magical castle, where her wild imagination was held back only by her itchy uniform (bowler hat and tie included!). There, she wrote her first fantasy about Dodo birds, wizards, and a flying ship––and has been writing fantasy ever since. She’s lived in other exotic locations, including her family-owned campground in New Hampshire and in Hawaii where she served as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives with her family and two crazy cats in an old farmhouse and dreams of returning one day to a castle. Donna is the author of the middle-grade fantasy adventure, Joshua and The Lightning Road. She is also a writing contest judge, guest author at schools, and a teacher at writing conferences on marketing and craft. (For more about Donna, visit her author website)
COMMENTS ARE WELCOME BELOW.
BE SURE TO ALSO VISIT ALL THE OTHER POSTS FROM BLOGGERS ON TODAY’S MARVELOUS MIDDLE GRADE MONDAY!
I really enjoyed the first book, I must get hold of the sequels! 🙂
Thanks for reading book 1, Valinora! Hope you enjoy the others. They were super fun to write 🙂
I’m sure I will! 🙂
Reblogged this on Donna Galanti, Author and commented:
What a wonderful in-depth review of the final Unicorn Island book, Beyond the Portal! Thank you to Greg with Always in the Middle Blog!
Greg, thank you so very much for reading Beyond the Portal (and the entire series!) and for your in-depth and thoughtful review! I really appreciate it. 🙂
So glad to hear that the last book in the series is so satisfying. I’ve really been enjoying the series so far.
Hope you enjoy the ending of the series when you get time, Natalie. Thanks for reading Unicorn Island!
This sounds like a series that young girls who like fantasy (and apparently many do) will enjoy.
Loved your review and how detailed it is. Such a fun series.
Thanks so much Brenda–and for your support!
My son has read the first two and will be getting the third one for his 10th birthday this month. He loves the characters and the magical creatures. Thanks for letting me know this out.
Wendy, that is so wonderful! I’m glad he enjoys it. If you’d like, for his birthday – you can email me his name and your address and I can send him personalized signed bookplate labels to add in to all his books plus bookmarks. donna(at)donnagalanti.com
I’m intrigued by the mom getting a character arc as well. I will have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing it.
Yay! Loved reading this review. I agree that this series is perfect for reluctant readers. Perfect! I also enjoyed seeing the way Sylvie changed and grew too. Great review! I will be recommending this book to lots of kids at my school. 🙂
Thank you Stephanie! Hope your kiddos at school enjoy it 🙂
This series sounds like one I need to check out, so I’ll go back and look through your old posts plus then keeping an eye out for it. I’m glad, since a good fantasy series that’s complete is always a find! Thanks for the recommendation, and have a great week!