The Young Unicorns

The Austins are trying to settle into their new life in New York City, but their once close-knit family is pulling away from each other. Their father spends long hours alone in his study working on the research project that brought the family to the city. John is away at college. Rob is making friends with people in the neighborhood: newspaper vendors, dog walkers, even the local rabbi. Suzy is blossoming into a vivacious young woman. And Vicky has become closer to Emily Gregory, a blind and brilliant young musician, than to her sister Suzy.

With the Austins going in different directions, they don’t notice that something sinister is going on in their neighborhood—and it’s centered around them. A mysterious genie appears before Rob and Emily. A stranger approaches Vicky in the park and calls her by name. Members of a local gang are following their father. The entire Austin family is in danger. If they don’t start telling each other what’s going on, someone just might get killed.

Originally published in 1968

Other Books in the Series

The Young Unicorns


“A first-rate suspense story.”
―The Washington Post Book World

“There is much food for thought here, and as a mystery it is taut and compelling. The characters are remarkably real. Some of them, you can even love.”
―E. Morrison, Amazon, 2012

“The Austins serve as a homey, grounding backdrop for the story of a gifted, troubled former gang member in 1960s New York City. I read and reread this tale as a young adult but was saddened to discover upon picking it up again maybe a year ago that it doesn’t age as well as I’d hoped. But L’Engle’s descriptions of cozy, functional, imperfect family life stand out, and her treatment of high-church music-liturgical culture resonate.”
―D., Goodreads, 2007