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Elephant Run

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,737 Ratings  ·  631 Reviews
In 1941, bombs drop from the night skies of London, demolishing the apartment Nick Freestone lives in with his mother. Deciding the situation in England is too unstable, Nick's mother sends him to live with his father in Burma, hoping he will be safer living on the family's teak plantation.

But as soon as Nick arrives, trouble erupts in this remote Burmese elephant village
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
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Alexandra Yes, it's both a thrilling and educational read!

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 13, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
It's 1941 and World War II is literally at Nick's doorstep in London. In an effort to keep Nick safe, his mother sends him to live with his father on a teak plantation in Burma. Unfortunately, the Japanese army arrives just after Nick does, literally making him a prisoner in his own home. After ten brutal months, Nick decides it's time for an escape and to try to rescue his father, who is being held at a POW camp.

This is such a different look at WWII. I am so used to just reading about the war f
To protect him from the bombing in London, fourteen year-old Nick is sent to live on his father's plantation in Burma a few days before the Japanese invade during World War II. As an adult reader, I enjoyed viewing WWII from the Japanese/Burmese angle and I thought this was the best crafted of the four Roland Smith novels I've read, but I'm not sure whether many of my sixth-grade students will enjoy this book. The plot is fairly complicated and dark. All in all, I probably will continue to recom ...more
I wasn't expecting a deep historical fiction novel from Roland Smith, but I really liked this story. I enjoyed learning about a part of WWII that I had no knowledge of, I loved being introduced to the concepts of Buddhism and the vows of priesthood, I found the information about training wild elephants to be workers fascinating, and I thought the description of the Burman jungle was frightening.

As with all of Smith's books, the main characters are resourceful and intelligent. I really liked Rick
Nate S
Oct 18, 2013 Nate S rated it did not like it
This is possibly one of the most disappointing books I have ever read. I feel like the book had a lot of potential but none of it was tapped into. I read this in 8th grade. I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of it considering the fact that its a young adult book but honestly I don't see anything that makes this book worth reading again.

But where do I start. Well the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that it feels like the pacing in this book is just entirely off. When Nick gets to Burm
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked this book. It took a while for the story to develop and for me to care about the characters, but once it did it was fine.

There are so many books out there that kids read in school about WWII that take place on the Western Front. This was a nice change, and we may ask the LA dept. to switch one of their current titles with this one.

We're looking for books that we could tie into our content area - so, any suggestions would be great...

Content Area (7th grade) Includes:

Hinduism, Buddhism, Is
Aidan F.
Elephant Run, by Roland Smith, is a very interesting read during the time of World War II. Nick Freestone lived in London with his mother until the Germans bombed their apartment and Nick’s mother decided to send him off to Burma to live with his father on his plantation. When he arrives, he sees that there is a bit of an issue with the Japanese taking over Asia, due to their slogan “Asia for Asians”. When Nick sees his father, he confirms that there is an issue with Japan and that Nick may not ...more
Emily Bezman
Aug 05, 2012 Emily Bezman rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books! Love how Roland Smith writes! In every book of his, he has lots of action and different cultures or learning. I just love all the adventure!
Sep 17, 2012 andrew rated it really liked it
historical fiction
roland smith

This story is about the brave british boy named Nick Freeston. During world war 2, Nick had left the England and moved to Burma because the Germany kept bombing his town. He learned about manhouts(elephant breeders) and made a friend named Mya. He also became friend with Hilltop, a mysterious monk who can speak with elephant and is Mya's great grandfather. His father owned the place called Hawk's Nest and Nick lives with him. Even though Nick got knock
Paige Y.
After the London apartment in which Nick Freestone lives with his mother and stepfather is bombed during World War II, Nick is sent to live with his father in Burma. Unfortunately, by the time he arrives at his father’s teak plantation, it is obvious that the Japanese are going to take over the country. Nick’s father is determined to get Nick out of the country and to safety in Australia, but before that can happen, the Japanese arrive and take everyone captive. Nick’s father is sent to a work c ...more
The Blitz is raging, and Nick's mother sends him away from the dangers of London to the relative safety of his father's plantation in the midst of the Burmese jungle. Nick loves the plantation and has greatly missed it, his father and the elephants in the years that he lived with his mother and step-father. But Nick's stay in Burma is anything but peaceful. The war has followed him to southeast Asia; the Japanese are taking over the continent, and many of the Burmese workers on the plantation ar ...more
So I'm not sure if this will be a book for my kids to read. I thought it was okay, even interesting at times.

Set in Burma during WWII I learned a lot about timber elephants, the Burmese culture and traditions as well as a little about Buddism. When the Japanese take control of the surrounding area things get ugly and several people are killed or tortured or put in POW camps. While not overly graphic, it wasn't pretty and I don't know where I stand on that yet. I want my kids to know that war is
Pranav Murali
Sep 17, 2012 Pranav Murali rated it it was amazing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: Roland Smith
Date Started: June 18th
Date ended: July 23rd
Length: 318 pages

Nick Freestone is living a life like no one else ever will. He first lived with his mother in London, but when their house gets bombed, his mom decides to send him to his dad’s plantation in Burma. Nick is excited to be with his dad, and is eager to learn more about elephants, but once he reaches Burma, trouble heads their way. The Japanese have come to Burma and have invaded his dad’s plan
Sep 17, 2012 Santhoshini rated it really liked it
Nick Freestone is living in London, a place at war with Japan. For this reason, Nick's mom and stepdad send him to his father's teak plantation in Burma. Even though Nick's visit to Burma was for safety, his safety alters into what could turn to danger for him and his father when the Japanese invade the teak plantation. When the Japanese invade the teak plantation, Nick is stuck working for the Japanese Colonel Nagoyoshi, while his father is working at a perilous labor camp. Using elaborate tun ...more
Josh Goytia
Elephant Run caught my eye because of its ever changing setting from London to Burma and its time during World War II. I enjoy reading many war and historical fiction books but this one, just reading the summary on the back, it immediately got my attention. On the front page of the book, you'd think this book would be about elephants, and it is, just not the background of World War II affecting the story in such great ways.

In my opinion, this book was amazing! It had me wanting to actually read
Jan 16, 2014 Dalilah rated it it was amazing
I know what you're thinking right now, "Elephant Run" is a weird title for a book. Well that's what I thought too about the title when I read it. But just to tell you, your minds going to change after reading this. The genre of this book is historical fiction since it takes place in 1941 and that it is not true. I think this a super interesting book with lots of action.

This book takes place in two places, India & Japan. In 1941 Nick Freestone lives in London where bombs are landing everywher
Apr 01, 2011 Dcooper rated it it was amazing

This book is fantastic! Though it is historical fiction, the story on its own is so compelling you forget that you are learning about Asia during WWII and find yourself rooting for Nick and Maya. I have very little background knowledge about Burma and elephants, so, it took me a couple of chapters to get used to the vocabulary. However, the author does a great job of explaining things without offending his readers because you (the reader) are learning right along with Nick. I highly reccomend th
Gavin Bentz
Jun 03, 2016 Gavin Bentz rated it it was amazing
The book “Elephant Run” by Roland Smith is a book that takes place in World War II. The main character, Nick, is living with his mother in London while it is getting bombed. Later on, he goes to his dad who owns a family timber plantation in Burma, where the people there are getting nervous about the Japanese coming their while the British are there. While Nick is there, his first morning there he realizes that nobody is at the village at the plantation. Nick hears a bell ringing, and an elephan ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 12, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it
This is a fiction book about a young boy in Burma. He had been in England, but his mother sent him to Burma to avoid the German bombing. Nick is the boy and his luck isn't very good since, not long after getting to Burma, the Japanese come in and take over the plantation he lives on. His father is put into a labor camp, and Nick stays at the plantation where he's beaten regularly by one of the former workers.

At first the Burmese think the Japanese will be better than the British, but they find
Jan 18, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayne S.
Dec 01, 2015 Wayne S. rated it really liked it
It is 1941, and fourteen year old Nicholas Gillis Freestone, known as Nick, lives in London, England, with his mother who works at the American Embassy. His stepfather, Bernard Culpepper, is an Army intelligence officer who is off on a secret mission. When Nick was five, his mother divorced his father, Jackson Theodore Freestone the Third, a teak plantation owner in Burma, returned to the States with Nick, and remarried. But now that bombs are dropping from the night skies of London and demolish ...more
Simon Van
May 27, 2015 Simon Van rated it it was amazing
Imagine a world where bombs are crashing all around you. Where you hope you live to see the sun the next day, when all of a sudden you are shipped of to Burma. These events are just the first few pages of the exciting book Elephant Run.When the young Nick Freestone arrives in Burma, he has no idea what he is in for. But when the Japanese arrive nothing will stop Nick from finding his father, and escaping the clutches of the Japanese. This action packed book is great for lovers of action and adve ...more
Jeremy Mount
May 27, 2015 Jeremy Mount rated it did not like it
A setting in an exotic place during World War 2 sounds like the start of a great book, right. Wrong! This book sucked. Elephant Run is a wonderful idea for a book with awful execution. Reading in this book was slow and very choppy. I would give this book a low D grade.

The book starts off in Nick's home in England during World War 2. It then throws you right into the action with a nazi bombing. Only it felt to sudden and almost jarring to read. Then, Nick gets sent to his father’s plantation i
May 17, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing
OMG, Amazing.
Josh Saunders
Feb 25, 2015 Josh Saunders rated it it was amazing
In the story Elephant Run it starts with a rich city boy and his father move out to Burma to where his father’s teak plantation is located. But little did they know about the war starting up and soon after they arrives the Japanese infiltrate and take over there plantation and make it a command center for the army. While this was happening him and this father were taken captive by the Japanese and were force into labor camps were they had to work. But Nick was able to escape because of the help ...more
Payton Bickham
Jan 14, 2015 Payton Bickham rated it really liked it
Elephant Run by Roland Smith is a fictional book set in the 1940's on a teak plantation in Burma during World War II. It follows Nick Freestone's, a 14 year old boys, experiences he has to go through to survive the war. Nick freestone was portrayed as a sincere person that anyone would want to meet. He lived his whole life without his father because of his overprotective mother and all he ever wanted was to spend time with his father. As soon as the opportunity presents itself for him to be with ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is World War II and Nick Freestone lives in London with his mother. His father owns a teak plantation in Burma and his stepfather is working as an army intelligence officer somewhere in France. For several weeks Nick and his mother have had to seek shelter every time bombs are dropped over London, until finally she decides that it would be much safer for him to move to Burma with his father. Only a few days after his arrival, he finds that things in Burma are not quite as stable as they appea ...more
Gabe Frey
Dec 14, 2014 Gabe Frey rated it really liked it
Nick Freestone is like any other teenage boy; stubborn and fiery temper. Unfortunately he finds himself caught up in one of the worst wars of all time, World War II. When the intense bombing England fails to cease, Nick's mother decides that he would be safer in Burma with his father. Nicks father runs a timber plantation, in the heart of the Burmese jungle, that has been in the family for many generations. The plantation is special in the fact that elephants are used instead of machinery to har ...more
Joseph Hoff
May 02, 2014 Joseph Hoff rated it it was amazing
Elephant run is about a boy who goes to Burma to see his farther but gets caught up in a war. When he fist arrives in Burma he is inexperienced because he lived in America where he never saw elephants or tigers and was never shot at. He was taken prisoner by the Burmese and his farther was sent to a labor camp while he was forced to work for the general of the Burmese army. He ment the daughter of a Burmese who was killed because he was an enemy to them. Together with the help of a monk and a ro ...more
Kevin A.
Feb 12, 2014 Kevin A. rated it really liked it
In 1941 during WW2, Nick and his mother find the bombings on London are now too risky. His mother decides to send him away to live with his father on a family owned plantation. Things go wrong when Japanese soilders invade the a and catch his dad as a prisoner. Now a servant and a new freind, Mya they plan to escape the village and survive the wilderness. Elephants play a great roll as to how they roam and how fierce they are and yet Nick learns a few things. This book really gave a perspective ...more
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Roland Smith is an American author of young adult fiction as well as nonfiction books for children.
Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University and, following a part-time job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, began a 20-year career as a zookeeper, both at the Oregon Zoo and the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. After working to save wildlife following the E
More about Roland Smith...

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“In the end, the only thing that really matters is family. -Jackson Freestone” 2 likes
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