Elizabeth K.'s Reviews > Small as an Elephant

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
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Nov 30, 11

bookshelves: 2011-new-reads
Read in November, 2011

This is a little better than three stars, but certainly not four.

Jack, an 11 year old boy, finds himself unexpectedly alone while on a vacation to Maine, and then has to figure out what he is going to do to reunite himself with his mother.

One of my favorite things about this book was mentioned in the author's note - she went to Maine and visited all the places the character would have gone, and I felt like this really came through in the book. The geography of the story was completely real and believable.

I liked the story overall, I liked the characters and found them sympathetic. I'm not quite sure why this didn't rise (much) above three stars for me ... in some ways I was expecting more information on certain plot points that eventually went ... nowhere in particular. In terms of plot momentum, I felt like nothing changed organically. If Jack changed his plans, or changed his mind about something, it was usually at random and not convincingly as a reaction to an actual impetus.

I have to add that I was predisposed to like this book because not only do I like elephants, I have a special obsession with tiny elephants. Pretty much the best thing that could happen in life, ever, would be if we could genetically engineer elephants to make them the size of cats. This all stems from one of E. Nesbit's dragon stories, where it is casually mentioned that elephants are small like house pets and guinea pigs are large like, well, like elephants. Aside from the general excellence of the concept of small elephants, what especially intrigued me was how this worked as a brief, almost throwaway concept that establishes the story in a similar, but slightly different, world than ours. There's also a small mammoth in the L'Engle book about the flood, which is nice and all, but this is one of my weird things that is very specific about elephants; a mammoth is not the same.

Grade: B-
Recommended: To people who like YA and elephants (I was a little worried it was going to get tiresome, but it turned out to be a cute theme).
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Allie Schmitt-morris this is way more then 4 stars


Maddie Jane/Bee Branch :) agree with first comment


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