For Ages
6 to 9

Unicorn Academy #3: Ava and Star is a part of the Unicorn Academy A Stepping Stone Book collections.

What if your best friend was a unicorn? Chapter book readers are flocking to this magical series, where everyone is paired with their very own unicorn!

Imagine a school where you meet your own unicorn and have amazing adventures together! That's what happens for the girls at Unicorn Academy on beautiful Unicorn Island. Ava and Star love their beautiful garden at Unicorn Academy. It's where they grow their very own magical plants! When the sky berries that the unicorns need to survive disappear, Ava and Star will need all their skills and courage to help their friends. Can they find more of the special berries before every unicorn's magic starts to fade?

The Unicorn Academy series is going at full throttle! Which adventure will you read next? Be sure to read all the books in this magical series!
Don't miss any books in the magical new spin-off series, Unicorn Academy Nature Magic!

An Excerpt fromUnicorn Academy #3: Ava and Star

“Star, wake up,” whispered Ava.
Star was asleep in her stable. She looked so sweet, with her eyes shut tight and her yellow- and-purple mane curling over her white coat. Ava smoothed a lilac curl that was sticking up around Star’s spiraled gold-and-purple horn.
“Ava?” Star’s eyes snapped open and she scrambled to her hooves. “It’s early, even for you. Is something wrong?”
Ava grinned. “No, everything’s fine. I’m just excited! Last night the teachers told us we’re going on a scavenger hunt this morning instead of lessons. We’ve got to collect things from around the school grounds in teams!”
Star pricked up her ears. “That sounds fun!”
Ava nodded. “I woke up thinking about it, and when I looked out the window, I saw something I had to show you. Come with me!”
Blinking and yawning, Star followed Ava through the stable of sleeping unicorns to the door.
Ava stopped. “Close your eyes.”
Star obediently shut her eyes. Ava felt her heart swell with happiness as she realized how much her unicorn trusted her. Putting her hand on Star’s warm neck, she guided her outside.
“You can open them now,” she whispered. “Look!”
“Wow!” Star blinked. A ball of sunshine was visible on the horizon. As it rose, filling the gap between two mountains, the dark sky rippled with orange, pink, and gold.
“Doesn’t the school look beautiful?” said Ava. Across the lawn, the marble walls and glass windows of Unicorn Academy glowed in the sunrise, and in the distance the multicolored water of Sparkle Lake glittered and shone.
“It’s the best sunrise I’ve seen in ages,” said Star.
Ava smiled. “I had to share it with you. Spring’s coming, Star. I can smell it in the air! Shall we plant my new seedlings before I have to go for breakfast?”
“Good plan!” said Star eagerly. “I’ll dig the holes.”
“That would be brilliant.” Ava kissed her unicorn on the purple star on her forehead. “I love having you as my unicorn. I can’t imagine being partnered with a unicorn who didn’t like gardening!”
“And I can’t imagine being partnered with a girl who didn’t like nature!” said Star, her warm breath tickling Ava and making her giggle.
Ava and Star had been paired together in January, three months ago, when they’d both started at Unicorn Academy. Ava still found it hard to believe that she was really here, training to become a guardian of wonderful Unicorn Island.
The island was nourished by magical waters that flowed up from the center of the earth and out through the fountain in Sparkle Lake. Rivers carried the precious water around the land so that it helped all the people, animals, and plants on Unicorn Island to flourish.
Students usually spent a year at Unicorn Academy when they were ten, but sometimes they stayed longer if their unicorn needed more time to discover their magic power or if they hadn’t yet bonded with their unicorn. Bonding was the highest form of friendship, and when it happened, a lock of the student’s hair would turn the same color as their unicorn’s mane. Ava couldn’t help feeling a little surprised she and Star hadn’t bonded already.
“Do you think Ms. Primrose paired us together because we both love plants and nature?” asked Star.
“Maybe,” said Ava. “Or maybe there was another reason. You  never know with Ms. Primrose.”
Ms. Primrose was the wise head teacher who had been in charge of the academy for many years. She was strict, but she could also be very kind.
“Well, whatever her reason, I’m glad she did,” said Star. “I wonder when I’ll find out what my magic power is and when we’ll bond.”
Ava felt a clench in her stomach. Two of the girls from Sapphire dorm had already bonded with their unicorns. Ava couldn’t help but worry that she was doing something wrong. She knew a lot about plants and animals, but she wasn’t very good at reading and writing. What if Star never found her magic power and they never bonded because she wasn’t clever enough to help her? That would be awful!

Under the Cover