The unicorn princess by Babette Cole

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2010. ISBN 978 0747599319.
(Ages 7+) The first in the series, Fetlocks Hall, which tells of a famous riding academy in England where students are hand picked to go as a result of their having very special gifs, unseen by most people. Penny is spotted by her riding teacher as one with just such special gifts and is hand picked to attend the school. Knowing her parents have no spare money for such an undertaking, Penny receives a scholarship and so is derided by some of the smarter more affluent girls in the school. But the kindness of the staff and other students make up for this. She is amazed at the unicorns which stand astride the stairs to the hall, and even more amazed when one of the stone statues winks at her. So begins an unimaginable adventure which sees Penny installed as a Unicorn Princess, one with special powers of flight on her horse, Peach, and given special gifts which she can use to fight those that want to take the place over.
The fantasy story is highly imaginative as Penny finds her wings and solves some of the problems occurring at the Hall, not least of which is the bullying girls. A story young girls will read with pleasure, seeking out those that follow it.
Fran Knight