Sunday, July 26, 2009
Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Just before the end of school, I ordered a whole pile of Roland Smith books. They came in a nice big pack and were pretty reasonable through Scholastic. I finally made it to that section of my bookshelf and pulled out the first one I saw, Elephant Run. It was a great first choice.
The story is set during World War 2 and is about Nick- a boy who has been living in London for several years but because of the War, his mother needs to send him away to Burma to live with his father. Nick was born in Burma, but has very few memories of the place. When Nick arrives in Burma he is quickly reminded of the beauty and danger of the jungle. What he remembers most though are the elephants and the importance they play at the teak plantation his father owns.
After only a few days of getting reacquainted with his father and Burma, the war suddenly catches up with Nick. The Japanese have taken over the country and the elephant's and their handlers. Nick watches as his father is taken prisoner and he finds himself a slave to the men who have taken over his home.
I found this story fascinating, it really introduced me to a country and a part of history that I knew nothing about. I was very intrigued by the role of elephants in other parts of the world. I have always just thought of them as animals I have seen in the zoo, but this book made me realize that they are used for so much more around the world. I think this book would be good for a read aloud or literature circle.