Book Name : An Elephant In the Garden
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: October 25th 2011 by Feiwel & Friends
ISBN : ISBN13: 9780312593698
No. Of Pages: 199 pages
Book Format: Paperback
Ages: 10 Years and up.
Michael Andrew Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. His recent bestsellers in Britain include Running Wild, Kaspar, and Warhorse, debuting Broadway. And it is now a film by Steven Speilberg. You can visit Michael on the Web at www.michaelmorpurgo.com.
The book ‘An Elephant In The Garden‘ is historical fiction, the plot has been set during World War II. Lizzie, an elderly woman in a nursing home, shares her story to a small boy Karl, a son of a working nurse. The whole plot of the story is split into two eras one where Lizzie shares her story and the second was of 1945 when she was 16 years old Elizabeth, living in Dresden, Germany, with her family Mother (Mutti), Father (whom she called Papi), and 8 years old brother Karli, who is asthmatic.
When Elizabeth’s father leaves home to join the military on the Russian front, mother Mutti joined a Zoo nearby where a baby elephant has developed an exceptional bond with her, whom Mutti named Marlene. As a Mother, Mutti was trying hard to get all the end meets of the house and kids in the absence of their father. The fear of allied bombers on the city Dresden was all over in Mutti’s mind, along with her kids, she was worried for Marlene too. Zookeeper has announced that if sooner or later bombers attack Dresden city, they have to shot all the zoo animals for the safety of citizens on the road. Fear of attack eventually urns into reality, without delay, Mutti evades from Dresden city with Elizabeth, Karli, and Marlene.
Amidst endless hindrances, hunger, snowy weather, shielded with the chilled wind, moving from jamming road to the forest hay, they met a young boy Peter, an American injured soldier. Who helped them in taking to the countryside with the help of his compass.
The book ‘An Elephant In The Garden’ is precisely divided into four sections for better understanding the different stages of the events. A book is for young readers, the language to present a war’s trauma, the scarcity of food or the fear for life, etc. has been shown in very smooth flow without ruining the curiosity. A surface knowledge about world war II has been explained in a very concise manner, so even a person who prefers to skip dig the grave deeper also got a clear idea about far or against parties, like the role of Red Army, NAZIs, German-Russia Relations or the role of Americans militants.
In some places, I felt the story’s characters could not get a proper end. I couldn’t understand the need for two narrators in the story like the present version’s narrator was a nurse, and in the flashback version, the narrator was Lizzie herself, which created a miniscule level of confusion in the reader’s mind while transitioning.
My Review And Rating:
From unfolding secrets, holding few lies in the heart with the anticipated danger, sleeping many nights without food, to separating with loved ones, this book depicts every journey beautifully. A good option for the age 8-12 YO readers. There is a part where it is shown that a young guy Peter and Elizabeth, had a crush on each other; honestly, even that has been mentioned in an utmost pretty way without losing the end of modernity or, rather, I should say with absolute appropriateness.
I gifted this historical fiction to my 11 YO son, a voracious reader who loves to read fiction and non-fiction both. This book holds the perfect combination of emotions, bravery, love, and of course, the tinge of history. Here, the mom-son duo loved reading it together. I give a 4-star rating to a wonderful historical fiction.
To know whether Elizabeth and Karli get a chance to meet their Papi again? Being asthmatic, did Karli managed to survive in chilled stormy weather? pick a reading with your kids a light, soft, underneath a horror of war, human-animal bonding, family love, and historical fiction ‘An elephant In The Garden’.
Do share have you already read this fiction or planning to read?
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