Elephant Run
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Elephant Run

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  3,762 ratings  ·  549 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...more
Hardcover, 318 pages
Published September 25th 2007 by Disney-Hyperion
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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...more
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...more
Nate S
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...more
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...more
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
Prairie Star
This is a book that draws the reader in page by page. It is the story of Nick Freestone and his father, a teak plantation owner in Burma (Myanmar). Set against the backdrop of World War II, Nick is sent by his mother and stepfather to his father's plantation when the bombing in London comes a little too close to home. The plantation harvests timber using elephants. Hannibal is the largest and most unruly of the elephants. Mya, is a young Burmese girl whose family has a long and storied tradition...more
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...more
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...more
Pranav Murali
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...more
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...more
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...more

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...more
Joseph Hoff
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Walter F
May 12, 2014 Walter F marked it as to-read
Nick freestone is and ordinary english boy who is suffering from the Japanese bombs in world war one. His dad owns a small teak plantation in south east africa. Nick moves to africa where he meets Mya and her brother Indaw. One mornbing Nick walked down to the village and was attaked by the most famouse Elephent, Hannibal. Hannibal killed three tigers and ingured another while tied to a tree. Nick was thrown off his feet before he new it and craked his ribs. Later he went with his father and his...more
Feb 25, 2010 Marilyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 6th - 9th grade
We read this in my teen book group at work. Those of us who read it enjoyed the story and especially the setting in Burma circa WWII. Good characterizations, especially the Monk, Hilltop, the Japanese sergeant, whose name I don't remember, and the elephant, Hannibal. The ending was a little too neat for my liking but didn't seem to bother the teens in my group.
I am loving the characters in the book and find a lot of his ideas innovative and his writing engaging.

During the reading, however, I frequently notice typos. That is always a little disappointing. But it's forgivable, even if it's inexcusable.
Anthony(the world class soccer player
i think elephant run was one of the best books i have ever read. it is a great historical fiction book and is very etertainig every time i read it i can not stop. oh buy the way the way the book is nothing like the title sounds.
I also read this book in siesta key florida (just like Scat). I loved this book because it kept me interested the whole time. Its pages are wrinkled because I read it by the pool! Ha, Ha!
This was a pretty exciting young adult read. There were elephants, action, and lots of suspense. If teenagers can get past the slow start, I think they'd really enjoy this one.
Roland Smith is an author that understands how his characters feel....a action packed story line that creates a bond with the reader and the characters in the story. Enjoy!!
Tyler Y
I really enjoyed the book Elephant Run by Roland Smith because the author was very descriptive. For example when the bombs are falling during the bombing he talks about how buildings are burning in the distance. Also he describes the house that Nick stays in in Burma very descriptively. I also liked this book because it had a lot of information about the elephants and how they live. For example I never knew that there was a stage every year that an elephant goes through that is called musth. Th...more
This is a young adult Novel about WWII and about a boy named Nick Freestone, who at the start of the book in 1941, is living with his mother and her Husband in London. The apartement where they are living is hit one night by bombs and destroyed. His mother, decides the situation in England is too unstable, and sends Nick to live with his father in Burma, hoping he will be safer living on the family's teak plantation. Shortly after arriving, the Japanese invade Burma and the action begins. This w...more
Feb 01, 2013 Brodie is currently reading it
Read the 1st chapter and I think it will be a great book
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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
More about Roland Smith...
Shatterproof (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #4) Peak Independence Hall (I, Q, #1) Cryptid Hunters (Marty and Grace, #1) Zach's Lie (Zach's Lie, #1)

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“In the end, the only thing that really matters is family. -Jackson Freestone” 1 likes
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