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Back in the day (the 90s in this case) I read my copy of Into the Land of the Unicorns so much it eventually went to pieces. Never forgot the series and tracked down each of the new books as they came out to happily lose myself in Luster all over again. Glad to see that the reworked series includes ebooks so I can have my nostalgia reads in a less tangible but possibly more durable form. Can't replicate that Scholastic paper smell though.
You're one of the reasons I'm still into fantasy as a genre and always keep an eye out books with unicorns (or karkadann and qilin). I'm a bookseller now and every so often I field questions from teachers looking for your books to tempt their students into reading (or to read to them). Usually they read The Magic Shop books as kids and want to share the joy - Jennifer Murdley's Toad and Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher are the most frequently requested. The latter was also a book I read until the pages fell out and one of the reasons most of my childhood drawings were dragons.
Any plans to reprint Bruce Coville's Book of...Aliens, Ghosts, Magic, Monsters, Nightmares, Spine Tinglers, and their respective sequels? Thank Scholastic book fairs for all those being part of my childhood too. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the various offshoots do well with kids today as do the reprints Goosebumps. I hit your stories and those at about the same age.
Hope this finds you well. Thanks for all the stories and keep being awesome!
I first discovered your work about 13 years through our local library. "The Unicorn Chronicles" is one of my favorite book series of my entire reading/listening life. So much so that I purchased the entire series on audiobook after listening through the library copies multiple times. I still regularly recommend it to readers of all ages (just mentioned it in a Facebook group this past week, actually) and listen to the whole set every year or two. Really excited to see a couple short stories on here that I haven't read, and I'm eager to read them.
Do you know if "The Last Hunt" was ever printed in hardback? I have "Into the Land of the Unicorns," "Song of the Wanderer," and "Dark Whispers" in hardcover and was hoping to round out my print collection with a hardback, but thus far I've only been able to track down paperbacks of "The Last Hunt."
Lastly, I wanted you to know that you've been an encouraging and inspiring influence on my own writing journey, and I look forward to reading more from you.
Since August 3rd, I have attempted to contact you three times through your “Contact” page of your website to no avail. I was beginning to become concerned… Then today, I clicked on your “Guest Book” page and discovered two entries dated August 8th and 11th which filled me with hope!
Even though this letter is both praise and book request, I shall try to submit it here in the hopes of a reply!
Sincerely, Marcia Wines
Dear Mr. Coville,
And when it was announced by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that our beloved Monarch Butterfly has now been added to the Endangered Species List, the very first thought (for real!) that entered my mind was your book The Prince of Butterflies. Despite my husband and my herculean efforts to garden for wildlife, your book needs to be in the hands of so many others, now, more than ever!
My quest for hardbound copies led me to your website, where lo and behold, not only was The Prince of Butterflies available but they are on sale, giving me the rare opportunity of buying them for everyone on our Christmas list!
Couple of questions –
Do you have 24 copies available?
Are the sale books also available to be autographed?
Finally, yet most importantly, many I take this opportunity, Mr. Coville, to share with you an article that I had written for Cross Reference, the newsletter of Fairfax County Virginia Public Libraries?
It had been written in April of 2008, as I sat there mesmerized, listening to you speak at the Great Books Consortium In Baltimore, feverishly trying to commit your powerful, poignant and profound words to paper!
And then you did something that I had only fleetingly hoped for, only wistfully dreamed of, as you imparted your wisdom to this star-struck audience of librarians.
At the end of your presentation you told us that now you were going to read to us the favorite book that you written.
And page by page and word by word you read The Prince of Butterflies …
Holding my personal copy, I gratefully smiled as I rose to give you a standing ovation!
I entitled my article -
Affirmation from Bruce Coville
Contemplating the summer reading program yet to come…on one of those absolutely harried days of non-stop reader’s advisory when you feel that your brain has been so addled that you wonder if you can even remember your name, it would be wise to contemplate the words of noted children’s author, Bruce Coville, whom I had the distinct pleasure of hearing speak at the Great Books Consortium in Baltimore this past April 1st.
“Librarians are Keepers of the Book, storytellers, story givers, People of the Book, whose sacred trust is leading children to books. American childhood has changed from viewing children as helping the family survive, to viewing them as objects of love, to now viewing them as consumers and that is very hard on their hearts.
However, the right story to the right child is like an arrow to the heart, filling a child’s reality with possibility and hope. And in this day of scandal-filled fallen heroes, books offer children the last refuge of good character helping them answer “Who do I want to be like?”
Within stories are the tools to save our world, drawing people together by honing their skills of empathy. Our challenge then is to give children these stories and then to live by the stories we give them, healing ourselves to heal the world.”
Empowering yet humbling words from an author that regales us with the likes of unicorns and teachers that are aliens! But, oh, do read Bruce Coville’s The Prince of Butterflies for a different perspective of this endearing author.
Reston Regional Library April 21, 2008
I am trying to find a paper copy of book 6 "The Wounded Tree" within the Unicorn Chronicles, but I can only find the Kindle book. I was wondering if book 6 was ever released in paperback form, and are you still planning to release a seventh book?
I read Into the Land of the Unicorns when I was in 3rd or 4th grade in 1999/2000, and thought I'd look you up to see what you're up to and tell you about how your books influenced me as a kid, and how special they were.
Into the Land of the Unicorns was my first real chapter book, and from then on I just couldn't stop reading, and writing. I've been writing creatively ever since. I remember being so amazed at how immersed I was in Cara's world, and how it felt like I had traveled to Luster, too. I read whatever I could from the series at my library, and then read Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher. I'll never forget that book either, because in 5th grade I had the version of the book with a tiny Tiamat next to an egg on the cover, and I tried to recreate that picture by drawing it myself. I was so proud of how it came out that I showed my teacher, asking if it was good, and she said, "I don't think it's good--I think it's incredible, and you are a real artist with a lot of talent."
I never stopped drawing after that, and hundreds of my first pictures were pictures of dragons. I put your name down every time someone asked me who my favorite author was, and when I did a report on my favorite author in 7th grade and wrote to you, you wrote back to me with a personalized letter. I was so thrilled! All of this is to say that I wouldn't be a writer, or an artist, today without those books.
I'm about to turn 31 in a few weeks, and a lot has happened since those days. But despite all of the craziness in the last 20 years, the whimsy, fantasy, and joy your books gave me all those years ago stayed with me. No matter how hard it got out there, I knew reading would always be there to enjoy. I write for a living now (but in a lawyer-y way and not the fun way), I have a digital painting canvas, and I've got folders full of planning for my first novel. It's been a dream of mine to inspire a kid the way you inspired me when I was a new kid in town, and poor enough that the library was where my parents took us for a fun weekend activity. I think about the kids growing up today, and I think they could use a little bit of joy and whimsy now more than ever, and I can only hope to give them a fraction of what you gave me! I've had a lot of stops and starts with writing over the years but remembering your books today, and all those memories, has reminded me how important fantasy and imagination is, no matter how old you are.
Anyway. I hope this wasn't too long or rambling, or too out of left field, haha. And there are new books in the Unicorn Chronicles! I can't believe it. You KNOW I'm going to have to get them haha--one day I want my own kids to read them, too. Thank you for all you do!