Jan Coates's Reviews > A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk

A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk by Jan Coates
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May 17, 11

(Review from the author)
Read in September, 2010

www.jancoates.ca (my blog)


From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (May 1, 2011)
A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk. 291p. map. glossary. CIP. Red Deer. 2011. pap. $12.95. ISBN 978-0-88995-451-9. LC C2010-904506-8.

Gr 8 Up–In 1987, seven-year-old Jacob Deng’s world explodes into chaos and confusion; his village in Southern Sudan, Duk Padiet, is attacked and destroyed by the Northern militia. The boy is suddenly left to wander the continent on his way to a refugee camp in Ethiopia and, later, Kenya. Jacob does not, however, wander alone. He is one link in a “never-ending chain” of boys. Lions, malaria, guns, and war threaten these “lost boys” at every turn. Throughout his tremendous and harrowing journey, Jacob thinks about Mama and strives to find those things that will lift him from the murk of war and tumult. And he learns to read. This novel, based on the life of the real Jacob Deng, provides insight into the struggles of the Sudan as well as a strong, clear voice. Coates gives an unflinching and poetic glimpse into the life of a boy who chose hope in the face of adversity. An interview with Deng is included.
–Naphtali L. Faris, Youth Services Consultant, Missouri State Library, Jefferson City, MO


http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-rev...

I'm pretty excited that my book was named to the USBBY Honor List of Outstanding International Books and also recently received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews - here's the link:)and some other reviews...


"An important and well-written story. Jan Coates takes the reader deep into the lives of children dealing with the uproar of war and terror - a strong reminder that the world needs to do better." Deborah Ellis, Dec. 2010

"Jan Coates has succeeded wonderfully with A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk. She gives the reader an uncomfortably vivid sense of what it must be like to lose one's home and family, to wander aimlessly through a bleak and blasted landscape, in constant danger of starving or being shot. Such desperate circumstances could have led her young protagonist, Jacob, to become bitter, to resort to violence himself. And, working with such material, Coates could have written a very dark and despairing sort of book. But both the author and her characters rise above the situation and find in it an unexpected wealth of humour and humanity and hope."
-- Gary L. Blackwood, author of The Shakespeare Stealer, The Great Race, The Just-So Woman, and Second Sight

Jan L. Coates hits the nail on the head with the theme of education promoting peace and ridding of ignorance. The evils of war are a plague upon the earth, making so many suffer of all ages. A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk is a riveting, compelling, and fast-paced novel that allows the characters to naturally shine, many who are complex and round. Jacob’s love of storytelling comes in handy many times, and even though he learns to read and write in English, he never gives up his family and his culture. He is a respectable character, from whom children could learn many great qualities. Even the character Majok, who is so easy to hate because of his own hatred, comes to realize how education can be beneficial and becomes kind. Seeing the world through a growing child’s eyes is something spectacular, and Coates does it well.
--Sean Andres, East Central High School

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