Christine's Reviews > Small as an Elephant

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
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Mar 01, 2011

really liked it
Read from February 28 to March 01, 2011

Jack and his mom have gone on a camping trip. He wakes up in the morning and she is gone. He has no idea where she is, but decides he has to find his own way back home. He quickly realizes that his mother must be 'spinning' again, which is what he calls her mental illness. He knows that if anyone knows about his situation that Social Services will take him away from his mother.

Jack is quite resourceful on his journey and finds ways to get food, money, and places to sleep. The poor little guy! I really felt for this child trying to find his way back home. He struggles with his hunger, steals so he can eat, and hurts himself and is in a fair bit of pain. It is not some grand adventure, although he keeps a fairly positive attitude, which I suspect is because he is so used to taking care of himself.

He also thinks about his mother and her issues alot. He makes a lot of excuses for her because he doesn't want to be taken from her, yet it is obvious how much her behavior has hurt him.

Jack is also very passionate about elephants. He knows all about them, and the reader comes to learn many interesting facts about them(I really enjoyed those!). I think elephants are what keeps him going when everything else is falling apart.

This book is geared toward a younger reader (10-14), but as an adult reader I still found it extremely enjoyable and quick to read. I think it discusses mental illness in a compassionate way, yet still shows the frustrations that people have with those afflicted by it.


I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

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Reading Progress

02/28/2011 page 90
32.73%

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