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The Child's Elephant

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  227 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
When Bat, a young African herd-boy, stumbles upon an orphaned baby elephant, he takes her home and pledges to look after her. As Meya grows and learns, she becomes part of Bat's family, and is soon the joy of the entire village. But she can't stay with Bat for ever - she belongs to the wild, and with Bat's help she joins an elephant herd, roaming free on the plains.

Bat ret
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 2nd 2013 by David Fickling Books (first published April 25th 2013)
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LH Johnson
There's a couple of things I need to acknowledge about my reading of The Child's Elephant and it's those that influence my rating and feelings around the book.

This is a glorious big book, but it's also resolutely a book of two halves and it took me two goes in reading to actually complete it. The first time I read it, I think it suffered both from my preconceptions and reactions to it (expecting something akin to a Michael Morpurgo, which is not a bad thing but it is not the right thing for thi
Anthony Burt
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a difficult book to review. I both enjoyed it and didn't at the same time. It was good, had a lovely storyline (and an endorsement by one of my fave authors Morpurgo), but - to be honest - I felt there were quite a few issues with it.

About a young African boy called Bat, who adopts a baby elephant after its mother is killed by poachers, this is a story of them growing up together, learning their identities, losing touch, him joining a child soldier army and then searching for his elepha
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was such a gorgeous book to read. The characters, the setting, the storyline was all so intricately woven to make an exciting and memorable read. The descriptions of Bat's home in Africa, of his Grandmother and his village are stunning and really draw you in. I loved the elephants, especially Meya and my heart broke for Bat when he has to let her join the herd and then he and Muka leave her. The brutality and cruelty of what happens to the children is horrendous yet gives the story a gritti ...more
Kyra MacDonald
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this was a really good storyline and it all was really interesting. i really liked the setting that took place. Also its a book with many emotions, i loved the animal and human friendship/bond that this book had. I did find it a bit boring at some parts for example the child soldier story line, but other than that i really enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to anyone, maybe a bit more to anyone that likes animals and the friendship between animals and humans.
I find it really hard to work out who this is written for. I read this as part of the 2014 Carnegie Shortlist, the cover is tedious and succeeded in putting off all the 12 year olds in my reading group. They all judged that things were not likely to end well for either the boy or the elephant. They were quite happy to read of disasters affecting humans but the thought that the elephant might be shot, having watched him grow up, was not acceptable. I on the other hand, was loathe to read a book o ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: teenage
Trigger warnings: Child abuse, Child soldiers

More trigger warnings. I don't deliberately read books like this (I stay away from them if anything) but they just seem to crop up for some reason. And one look at this book, you wouldn't expect to see it. So yeah.

This book reminded me of the kind of book that your teacher has you discuss in class, and thoroughly analyze it, and everyone is in agreement that "This is a really thought-provoking book and really awesome! If you want to be a writer, then
Bat, die Fledermaus, wird der 7-jährige Nakisisa genannt. Der Junge lebt bei seiner Großmutter und hütet in der afrikanischen Savanne ein paar Rinder. In Afrika ist es nicht ungewöhnlich, dass Kinder nicht bei ihren leiblichen Eltern leben. Von Bats Dorf Jambula zeichnet Rachel Campbell-Johnston ein archaisches, zeitloses Bild. Die Menschen leben in traditionellen grasgedeckten Lehmhütten, Frauen und Mädchen wickeln sich in Tücher und das Wasser wird von der Wasserstelle in Tonkrügen zu den Hütt ...more
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Originally posted on Through the Wardrobe

With a title not dissimilar to a Kipling classic and an endorsement on the cover from the one and only Michael Morpurgo, a certain preconception of this title as a ‘soft’ child/animal relationship story is set long before the cover is opened. Written by a journalist and a charity campaigner however, this novel is far from forgettable. Exploring both the relationship man has with nature as well as the haunting reality of child soldiers in Africa, The Child
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
My, what a rollercoaster of a story! I began by holding my breath with wonderment so as not to disturb the quiet, gradual appearance of the savannah in all it's beautiful and detailed glory - animals of all sizes, plants and flowers, heat, dust and luscious water of the rainy seasons. We all know much about the animals we see on safari, but not so much about their surroundings. Rachel Campbell Johnson allows us to sit undisturbed, maybe behind an acacia bush, to view her tale of an African child ...more
Katy Noyes
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

"Bang!" An elephant is shot. Unusual start to a children's book, but reminiscent of Bambi, she leaves behind a newborn baby. Bat has been watching nearby and takes the baby home with him. He and his friend Muka struggle to feed it and keep it alive.

The book veers from where you expect though. Adults might be expecting a 'Born Free' emotive journey where the children must raise their calf, see it grow, teach it to live in the wild and finally let it go.

And while that's a big part of the
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Sha Tin College C...: Carnegie Shortlist 2014: The Child's Elephant 2 4 Mar 25, 2014 09:59PM  
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