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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  99 reviews
After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northernIndia to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt.He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner.The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but...more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Paul  Hankins
You never want to come out too early in review of a book, and CHAINED doesn't release until May of 2012. My apologies--in advance--to not only Lynne Kelly (who--by the way--taught Mr. Hankins how to use a hashtag on Twitter ((just in case you wanted to know who to blame for this)) but to the publisher, Farrar Straus Giroux as well for this early, early review. . .but you see?

I have to be first on this one.

We're always wondering, right? What book will capture our attention in the next year? Pull...more
Kimberly Sabatini
If you love Linda Sue Park, then you should grab CHAINED with both hands, as soon as it hits the shelves. First and foremost, I loved 10-year-old Hastin. As a mom, I can only hope to raise boys who embody all that this young man stands for. He is compassionate, never looses his ability to love and finds strength beyond his years when he needs it the most. I can't wait to own a copy of CHAINED to share with my own boys.

Hastin isn't the only character that moved me. This is a story of a beautiful...more
Joanna Volpe
I cried--it's wonderful! I knew in the first pages that I was reading something special.

Hastin has a difficult journey ahead of him as he sets out to save his sick sister and his mother from being practically an indentured servant. His friendship with Nandita the elephant is touching and poignant. I love this story so much.

First line: The flood left, but the fever stayed.

Tell me you don't want to read it now!
Five stars isn't enough. I feel so privileged to have gotten to read this beautiful and moving story about a boy and an elephant and to have spent a few hours of my life with Hastin and Nandita. Hastin will steal your heart, Nandita will break it, and their story will melt it. I can't imagine a person alive who wouldn't fall in love with this book.
Diana Renn
I read an ARC of CHAINED, and I feel so privileged to have read this amazing book in advance of its May 2012 publication. As soon as it's available for purchase I'll be buying a copy for my son; he's years too young for this middle grade novel, but when he's of age I want it on his shelf alongside other childhood classics. Set in India -- and meticulously researched, to the point where you can smell the mangoes and taste the buttermilk roti -- it's a mesmerizing tale of a 10-year-old boy, Hastin...more
Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
Chained is a story about the human spirit and a beautiful relationship between a boy and an elephant, Nandita, who are more alike than different. They are both homeless, alone, lonely, and longing to be with family. Both are in a situation they cannot see themselves out of, and when things take a turn for the worse, they both realize that they are all that they have. Their relationship is the cornerstone to this book. It goes beyond sweet and touching. Their friendship is pure, moving, and unden...more
Like a WATER FOR ELEPHANTS for a younger crowd, this book dragged me through an emotional wringer as I read about an elephant and her young keeper at a circus in India. I loved Hastin from the beginning - he is a brave, loyal and strong boy, well beyond his ten years, but he shares the spotlight with an equally brave, loyal and strong elephant, Nandita. To say I loved this book doesn't really do justice to how it made me feel, but throughout I laughed and cried and had my heart broken several ti...more
Caroline Rose
"This must be what Ne Min meant about being brave. Never in my life have I been so afraid, but here I stand."

Beautiful book about loyalty, friendship, trust, and dignity. I am changed because of this story.
Kerry Cerra
There are literally millions of great books out there, but every once in a while a special one comes along. A book that simply stands out. I’m never good at explaining what it is that makes a good book so great. It’s kinda like, “You have you read this. You. Just. Have. To!” That’s how I feel about Chained. There are so, so many things to love underneath that sweet cover.

The story is one of an unlikely friendship between Hastin, a ten-year-old boy, and an elephant. Hastin, man of the family sinc...more
Dec 07, 2011 Gina rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: mg
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of CHAINED (Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG/Macmillan – 5/8/2012) by Lynne Kelly, and I immediately fell in love with Nandita’s sad elephant eyes on the cover. From the first line, I was drawn into the hopeful world of 10 year old Hastin as he tries to be the man of the family and help his widowed mother and critically ill sister by offering his services as an elephant keeper in exchange for five thousand rupees needed to pay for his sister’s medical bill. Th...more
From the very first page you will root for Hastin, a 10-yr-old boy in poor, rural India who tends to his ill sister. When she has to go to the hospital and his mother cannot pay for her treatment, Hastin scurries around looking for a job, but no one seems willing to take him on, despite his enthusiasm. That is, until he meets the charismatic Timir, a circus owner. Timir promises Hastin more than enough rupees for his sister's care if Hastin will be an elephant keeper for one year. It sounds like...more
Sarvenaz Tash
I loved this book in elephant-sized proportions. A gorgeous, timeless story that is so beautifully written, heartfelt and heart-wrenching. I would not be surprised at all if it swept up a ton of major awards next year; it would be extremely deserving of all of them.

If you are a fan of books like "Where the Red Fern Grows" or "Water for Elephants," I think "Chained" will be ranked right up there with them and held up as a classic for generations to come.
CHAINED is a lovely, lovely book about the connections between human beings and the people (and elephants) they care about. Beautifully written and grippingly plotted, CHAINED became my world while I was reading it. My children will be moved by this story, and I suspect my children's children's children will still be moved by it ages from now. A classic is born!

Wow! This is one memorable novel. Poignant and visually beautiful. There are parts where you want to read slowly and just take it all in. And get those tissues ready, as well. As much as I wanted to read the ending, I didn't want it to end. Brava, Ms Kelly! Brava!
I wish I had the proper words to express how well-written this book is, and what a powerful story it tells. Other people will write better reviews--of this I'm sure. (And after some time has passed, I will be able to write a much better one myself.)

Just know that it is a book I treasure. It will go on that shelf of much-loved titles that I will return to for years to come.

M.G. King
One gorgeous read. If you've ever wanted to befriend an elephant, journey with young Hastin through the pages of CHAINED. Separated from the families they love, Nandita and Hastin are forced to work for a greedy circus owner. This memorable story about loyalty, bravery, and respect for one of earth's finest creatures will stay with me for a long time.
I read this with my 10 year old daughter and we loved it. My daughter was so hooked, she read ahead without me several times :) She also bawled and bawled and BAWLED -- but that is a good thing. This book really tugs at your very core and was so very beautifully written. My daughter and I both would give it beyond five stars if we could!
The Reading Countess
Gorgeously written, Chained will leave you needing a tissue. Thanks to Lynne Kelly, my students skyped with her halfway through the read aloud lending an air of authenticity to not only the story but also the lengthy writing process an author endures to get a book to print.

Highly recommended.
Sue Morris
Meet Chanda. She is the catalyst for today’s review of Chained, a smart, well-written, and engrossing novel by Lynne Kelly. Chanda is a young girl bitten by fever mosquitoes and now carries a dangerously high temperature. She needs medical help now. With the help of a neighbor, Amma, her mother, takes Chanda to the hospital in the city. Left behind to care for things at home is Chanda’s older brother, Hastin.

Thus begins an engaging story of one young boy’s quest to help the three women in his l...more
April Hochstrasser
The story is one of an unlikely friendship between Hastin, a ten-year-old boy, and an elephant. Hastin, man of the family since his father’s death, must take a job as an elephant keeper far from home to pay off a family debt. Though he’ll miss his mom and sister, Hastin is excited for the adventure that awaits. But nothing could prepare him for the cruelty both he and the elephant, Nandita, endure. Their bond is tighter than the shackles on Nandita’s feet and their love and friendship allow them...more
A very special read.

A boy who misses his family, an elephant who misses hers.

"Outside, the wind blows toward my home. I hold up the handful of hair and release it to a gust of wind and watch it fly away. I dream that the wind is strong enough to carry it all the way to my village, where it will help make a nest for a bird. And Amma will see the wavy black hair woven into a next and know that I am alright." (p. 139)

A coming of age story in which the boy has to make his own family in a terrible si...more
The Year of the Elephant books continues (in my life). So many great stories with elephant characters and themes. This one features a kid taken away from his home as he tries to do what is right for his family. He gets a job taking care of an elephant from a very disreputable man, and has to take part in capturing the elephant and has to help heal the elephant when it is treated badly. But he has an ally who helps him be bold and daring. Love the setting of India.
Vonna Carter
When I was ten, I would have read this book a thousand times, hugged it, bawled over it and slept with it under my pillow. With her unforgettable characters, vivid world building and tense plot, Lynne Kelly has created a new classic.
Debbie Emory
A beautiful job showing the connected hearts of animals and humans, as well as how we can take control of our lives, even in horrible circumstances.
Lana Krumwiede
Touching but not sappy. Interesting setting, great characters, satisfying ending. And, I know more about elephants than I did before!
Lola G
A great book with a happy ending
Jen Petro-Roy
Lovely and touching.
A great read!
I had a hard time getting into Chained – people taking advantage of others, people being cruel to others and to animals twined around Hastin, the teller of the story. Hastin is kind, dedicated, honorable and true and so I struggled to keep reading when is seemed as though everything in his world was conspiring against him. I am exceptionally glad I did keep reading. I can name Chained as the best book I have read this summer.

Why, because at the beginning of the story Hastin was kind, dedicated,...more
Ms. Yingling
Hastin's sister is very ill with a fever, and his mother takes her to the doctor, even though his father has passed away and the family is barely surviving in rural India. In order to pay the bill, the mother goes to work cleaning the house of a wealthy man, but when he starts to abuse her, Hastin looks for another way. He is hired by Timir, an elephant trainer, who offers to pay the hospital bill in exchange for Hastin's work for a year. The first thing Hastin has to do is to trap a young eleph...more
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elephants in literature 3 4 Jan 26, 2012 07:28AM  
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Lynne Kelly writes contemporary middle grade and young adult fiction. She was born in Galesburg, Illinois, grew up in Houston, lived in some much colder places, then found her way back to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter. For a few years she also taught special education, a good career for someone with excellent organizational and planning skills. Lacking those skil...more
More about Lynne Kelly...

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