Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki (review)
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Reviewed by
Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Tamaki, Mariko Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!; illus. by Brooke Allen. Amulet, 2017 [256p] (Lumberjanes)
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4197-2725-2 $14.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-68335-135-5 $13.49
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6

The popular comic-book series Lumberjanes becomes middle-grade fiction in this novel when Lumberjanes April, Molly, Mal, Jo, and Ripley find a wandering and clearly lost unicorn in the woods surrounding Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types. As eternally helpful campers, especially when it comes to anything supernatural, they responsibly return the unicorn to its herd. April’s also ambitious, working her way toward a sash (maybe two!) full of badges, and when she discovers that there’s an Extraordinary Explorers medal, she immediately knows that the strange and somewhat creepy mountain in the unicorn valley is the place to earn her prize. Her friends happily join her [End Page 135] on her trek, but nothing goes as planned and they end up in some sort of cloud world with no apparent way back to camp—or the ground, for that matter. Fans familiar with the comic series will find all five of the girls fully presented here: Jo the inventor, Mal the punky scaredy cat, Molly the thinker, April the goal seeker, and Ripley the wild child. Their bond is conveyed with warmth and humor, and the camp for awesome lady-types is entertainingly wacky. The novel format isn’t as effective as the comic panels, but readers of the series will still want to accompany the girls on another adventure, and newbies to the quintet’s hijinks may find this an appealing invitation to the comics. Final illustrations not seen.

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