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Hannahs Dream (Max L. Biedelman Zoo #1)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,887 ratings  ·  630 reviews

An elephant never forgets . . . but can she dream?

For forty-one years, Samson Brown has been caring for Hannah, the lone elephant at the down-at-the-heels Max L. Biedelman Zoo. Having vowed not to retire until an equally loving and devoted caretaker is found to replace him, Sam rejoices when smart, compassionate Neva Wilson is hired as the new elephant keeper. But Neva qui

MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2008)
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this book has to be one of the best books I've ever read, honestly, I didn't want it to end. You fall in love with the main characters & can so picture everything actually happening, I want a sequel!!!! Thanks Diane for such a wonderful read!!!
Tara Affolter
I hugged this book when i was finished.

Readers likely will gravitate to this book looking for a Water for Elephants-esque tale. Unfortunately, their search won't end here. This is a tale that veers dangerously into maudlin territory time and again. Where it falls very short of the mark is in portraying some rawness, some grit that would make it hit those many emotional chords that Water for Elephants does with such aplomb. Hammond went to some length to pluck on heart strings with a story l
Nov 12, 2008 Dottie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Dottie by: Joey
I absolutely loved Hannh's Dream. At the top of my favorites list along with Water for Elephants. You will fall in love withSam, Hannahs' caretaker, Hannah the elephant and his wife Corinna. Every character will live onin myheart. I imagine what they're doing now. Such a feel-good story. The author, Diane Hammond, has truly written one of the best stories I've ever read.
This is truly one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read, I didn't want it to come to an end. Somewhat reminiscent of "Water for Elephants" or the children's novel "The One and Only Ivan". The story is about an aging elephant, Hannah, and her aging caretaker, Sam, they have been together for 41 years and Sam has passed on retirement twice because he worries what will happen to his "baby" when he's gone and will not leave until he knows she will be safe and well cared for. It is simple stor ...more
Another wonderful book about an elephant...
The characters are beautifully realized. I loved the subtle ironies, like how one character's ex-wife keeps accusing him of being deadly boring while he's in the middle of secreting an elephant out of a zoo. There is much to learn from this book on the art of crafting a distinctive voice for each character.
The book is remarkable for a literary adult novel--the characters are likable, and the ending is uplifting.
Plus I could believe in the people Hammond
What a beautiful story!! I loved it. The character development is good. There are a lot of eccentric people in this story which kept me captivated. It was hard for me to put this book down. Elephant's are amazing creatures. To me, Love was a central theme in this book. Good Healthy Relationships are important.
Very enjoyable novel about an aging elephant and her aging handler. I love it when a story unfolds effortlessly and doesn't make you think the author is trying hard to make it so. This book does that. It is beautifully written.
Dec 22, 2008 Katrina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers
This book was amazing. There isn't a lot more to say about it. She captured what all of us who work with animals already know about how brilliant they are, and how very like us... Beautiful. Every animal lover should read this.
Hannah is an aging elephant at the Max L. Biedelman Zoo in Washington state. She has been cared for by Sam Brown for 41 years. Sam's diabetic feet are ulcerated which really connects him with Hannah as she has a constant abscess from her nightly shackles. Due to Sam's age and condition, he needs to retire. But what will become of Hannah? Sam is her one true friend. She has not been around another elephant for years. Surely, without placing her among other elephants, she will die.
A wonderful gr
I'd heard about this book on NPR and put it on my To-Read List, so when I saw it on sale I snatched it up and started it even though I have a generally strict rule about reading only one book at a time...

I've heard it called a love story, and it is- but the thing I like most is the development of each of the characters right up until the end. I love Miles the pig and he and Truman's budding relationship. I laughed out loud so many times because I felt as though I had known a miniature pot bellie
Michelle BF
I am going to enjoy recommending this book to lots of people. Hannah's zookeeper needs to retire due to his health but after 41 years together, the elephant will die without him. A new zookeeper comes on the picture and convinces him to help get Hannah to a new home with a new herd. A gentle read--easy to recommend to anyone. This story was inspired by Keiko the killer whale and its journey from captivity to the Antarctic. This is a good Water for Elephants readalike.

Hannah's Dream
Michelle Reading
It's all about soul

Excellent character development in a sweet multilevel love story.
Sam and Hannah a love story for the ages. They have been together for 41 years, never mind that Sam is an ailing 68 year old caretaker of Hannah a declining elephant. Their love and devotion is as strong and heartwarming as any I've read about.
I appreciated that the author chose to focus on the important aspects of the characters: heart, steadfastness, fears, generosity, while the less important aspects (race, se
In Hannah's Dream, author Diane Hammond takes a snippet of news footage about an aging elephant and her keeper and expands it into a marvelous novel. Hammond creates a vibrant and believable cast of characters to fill her fictional world not the least of which is the amazing elephant Hannah whose uncertain future is pivotal to the story. I was quickly and completley absorbed by the story and so will any reader who has ever looked into the eyes of an animal and seen a familiar soul looking back.
I really enjoyed "Hannah's Dream." I became very involved with all the characters and was charmed by them and how their relationships evolved. They all care deeply about Hannah, the aging elephant in a run down zoo and work together to assure the remainder of her life is lived peacefully. The characters are all lovable (except one) and the story is wonderful. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to get lost between the pages of a truly lovely story.
Elizabeth Keifer
Wonderful true story about a man's efforts to save an elephant.
Deborah Escobar
I loved every page of this book. The characters are expertly drawn and believable. I really felt involved in their lives. I felt like I could feel the soul of Hannah the elephant come right out through the pages. This is a book that made me feel really sad to reach the end, I did not want to leave.
Nov 18, 2008 Audrey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Audrey by: I found it by chance in the library
I loved this book. It was the elephant's version of the book The secret life of Bees. Great characters, interesting story and I love elephants. Definitely fiction but it feels like it could have been true
Tressa Brown
A delightful book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I learned that love is everywhere. You just have to look for it. I was touched by Corrina and Sam's devotion to each other and to Hannah.
This is a nice story about an elephant and her caretaker. Hannah and Sam's close relationship is central, surrounded by the people Sam works with in a small zoo. The plot thickens when, for various reasons, it becomes clear that Hannah will need to be moved to an elephant sanctuary to live with her kind, although she hasn't seen another elephant in 40 years.
The plot is pretty predictable, the characters are likable, and the writing is okay. All in all, a beach read that is light and entertaining
I absolutely LOVED this book! The cover looks like a little girl and an elephant, so I had a bit of resistance to starting it. I did not want a sappy sweet story about an animal and a child. I must have read others' reviews, though, or I never would have bought it to read on my kindle. I had just finished a series of murder mysteries that were very intense, so I thought I really ought to read something in a kinder, gentler vein.

I sure was rewarded for wading into this one! The story includes a
Bill Hall
I finished Diane Hammond's novel, "Hannah's Dream," with a lump in my throat and joy in my heart.

"Hannah's Dream" is a well-crafted, heartfelt story of a 41-year love affair--between an elephant named Hannah and her long-time keeper, Samson "Sam" Brown. The tale is set at the fictional Max L. Biedelman Zoo in Washington State. The zoo was the proud creation of Maxine (Max was a woman, the daughter of a lumber magnate) Biedelman, who found her greatest joy in the green hills of Africa. The zoo wa
Annette Mardis
When I grow up, I want to write like Diane Hammond.

That will never happen, but it's definitely something to aspire to. Her dialogue is authentic, her characters are well-drawn and her insights into the human condition are touching and true to life.

You'll fall in love with the everyday heroes in this novel, and you'll forever have a place in your heart for the fictional elephant for whom the novel is named.

"Hannah's Dream" is a story of hope, loss, love, humanity, quiet courage and the special
Interview with author on NPR: Diane Rhem Show 2 Oct 2008.

Hannah the elephant has lived her life in a menagerie turned small-town zoo. She is inadequately housed, isolated and her main keeper has received no training in pachyderm care. The new zookeeper wants desperately to send Hannah to an Elephant Sanctuary, where she can live out the rest of her life in the company of her own kind.

However, this is no horror story; Samson Brown has cared for Hannah the best he could for 41 years, perhaps as
What a wonderful book! You can't help but to fall in love with the characters as well as the storyline. Sam has cared for Hannah the elephant for 41 years. He's aging and worries about what will happen to her when (IF) he retires. Told touchingly and with delicate care, Diane Hammond crafts a beautiful story of compassion, devotion and emotions. This is a must read for animal lovers, and even if you don't love animals I can't imagine anyone reading this and not being touched by some aspect or ch ...more
I really enjoyed this book! I do like animals a lot and found the relationships people had with Hannah interesting and heartwarming. I liked the story and I've seen critiques about not revealing earlier the race of a main character which I suppose I can see the point but it didn't bother me. I was surprised to find out somewhat into the book that the character is African American. Not really a spoiler, just informational and somewhat explains some about the character and another character.

Judy Palmer
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time! The whole theme of elephants and their plight in zoos and in other situations of captivity is intriguing and heartbreaking. They are magnificent animals with an almost human "personality". The human characters are also very interesting and the author developed them well. Just a pleasure to read. Will recommend it to everyone .
Hallie Frobose
This book is so inspirational and heartwarming. I know Sam and Hannah's bon so well having raised many show cattle and pigs, and it make me long for the time I spent in the barn with then knowing their quirks and needs. In this story Hannah brings together so many people who have been broken and damaged in some way and fixes them by giving them something to hope and cheer for! This is a must read for any animal lover!
Rosemary Dreyer
A charming elephant and her keeper:
Diane Hammond creates a slow paced world about a very large personality in her lead character, Hannah the elephant. Her long-term caregiver is another gentle soul, Sam, who shares his own stories about life and the woman who founded the Max L. Biedelman Zoo. It's a hero's journey of sorts and this story makes you care. Touching, poignant, although at times predictable, it is worthy of reading.
One can't help but judge this book by it's cover... of course, that's what initially drew my attention. Hannah's Dream is a sweet story which ties in love, friendship, and hope; a story in which you feel for the antagonist, but you still know the good guys need to win. It was an easy read, but made me feel good inside.
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All About Animals: Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond 6 10 May 23, 2015 01:56PM  
Who's your favorite character? 9 37 Nov 05, 2013 03:31AM  
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I'm 53, and it's hard to believe that anyone could possibly care about where I was born, but for the sake of due diligence, it was in Queens, NY. I grew up in Upper Nyack, a suburb of New York City, without a lot of drama, and the most important thing I learned in my four years at Middlebury College in Vermont was that I could write in James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness style fluently and for l ...more
More about Diane Hammond...

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“Why did we divorce? I guess you could say we had trouble synchronizing. You know that carnival ride where two cages swing in opposite directions, going higher and higher until they go over the top? That was us. We passed each other all the time, but we never actually stopped in the same place until it was time to get off the ride.” 17 likes
“They also learned that not everything broken could be fixed, and that not everything ruined could be thrown away. Sometimes the damaged things were all you had to work with.” 15 likes
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