An Elephant In The Garden
Lizzie and Karl’s mother is a zoo keeper; the family has become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene, who will be destroyed as a precautionary measure so she and the other animals don’t run wild should the zoo be hit by bombs. The family persuades the zoo director to let Marlene stay in their garden instead. When the city is bombed, the family flees with thousand...more
Morpurgo tries a variation on his usual framing device in this story and, rather than a tale of youth bookended by an adult narrator's musings, the reflections are interspersed throughout.
Lizzie is a solitary old woman in a nursing home who often speaks of the time she had an elephant in her g...more
After finding out that there's a Scholastic warehouse not far from the school i teach at, i decided to get my students books as holiday gifts. As preparation, I had them select their favorite genre. I had two students choose historical fiction: a boy and a girl. The warehouse had War Horse, so I picked that up. And then I noticed this one nearby and thought I'd read it first before deciding whether to gift it or not.
Having the present-day bracket for the WWII story struck me as both a g...more
When warnings about bombing spread throughout the city of Dresden, Lizzie’s life was changed forever. Until then, Lizzie had not been affected the war, but when her father is deployed to France and her mom, Mutti, brings home a...more
Michael Morpurgo's Elephant in the Garden is about a family displaced by war. Set in Germany in 1945, it explores the story of Elizabeth, her brother Karli and their mother, not to mention their pet elephant Marlene! As a result of the war their father is enlisted to join the army forcing their mother to take on work at a local zoo. It is here that she comes across an orphaned elephant called Marlene who the family befriend. As a result of the war, and with Russian troo...more
on some true events. This story is set in Dresden, Germany near the end of World War II. Lizzie is a young woman with a father fighting in the war, a younger brother who has asthma and walks with a limp and a mother who volunteers her time at the zoo in the park near their house. Lizzie's mother befriends an orphan elephant and eventually brings her
home to the family garden to live a...more
An Elephant in the Garden shares an unusual story of war. At the same time that it is devastating and tragic, it is uplifting and hopeful. Lizzie is old and frail; so fragile that she has been moved into a nursing home. The narrator of the book is a nurse there. She is also a single mom, so on weekends, snow days or days when she takes on extra hours her son Karl comes too. If the weather is right, he brings his friends and they play in the snow outside the home – often to the great delight of t...more
This is based on a true story about a woman who lived in Ireland during World War II and worked at a zoo. The zoo officials had decided that if air raids came too close to the zoo, the larger animals would have to be killed so that they would not escape and cause danger to the community. The woman had raised an elephant since it was a baby and got permission to take the elephant home with her every night so that it would always be safe.
The author changed the setting of this story to Dr...more
Lizzie made the following observation as Russian forces bombed Dresden, Germany. "Antiai...more
This story set during WWII is from a perspective which I don't read much of, that of the everyday German family. I have read books from the German perspective but usually they are hiding Jews and that would be the focus of the story. An Elephant in the Garden does not really explore the War itself very much, outside of what this middle class pacifist family would know from the propaganda they were fed. Before the war a...more
every night mutti (lizzi's mother) walks with marlene to the house. the family houses her...more
This particular story focuses on the bombing of Dresden. Lizzie, age 16, lives with her mother (a zookeeper) and younger brother Karl in a...more
It's an interesting blend of fact and fiction. The author, who has written a number of books on WWII, was looking for a new angle on the war when he learned of the fate of many zoo animals: they were shot to prevent the animals from ravaging the populace in the case of a bombing or fire.
The novel reminded me of Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War, a real tear jerker. While this story novel didn't necessitate...more
Lizzi's Mutti (mom) worked in the zoo in Dresden, her papi was fighting in the war. When Mutti is told that the animals will be destroyed if the city...more
Morpurgo is one of my favourite authors of all time, right next to Neil Gaiman (somehow I like English writers!), and this fascinating story did nothing to dispel him from my list!
Once again, he took a historical even I knew very little about, gave it an interesting twist, made me intrigued, and it even had a happy...more
Set in Dresden before the allied bombing of 1944, Lizzie, her mother and brother are living and going about their normal life. Lizzie's mum works for the Dresden zoo, and there is talk that the animals may have to be put down, in the likely event of the bombing of the city.
So, this is how Marlene, the elephant, comes to live with the little family, and becomes part of their survival in the weeks ahead.
This book gives a gentle insight into...more