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The Child's Elephant
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The Child's Elephant

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  36 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
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published May 2nd 2013 by David Fickling Books (first published April 25th 2013)
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Anthony Burt
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
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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
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Beth
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
Anna
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
Buchdoktor
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
Anne
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
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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Libby
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
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Sally Flint
This was the last book left on the Carnegie Short List I had to go and what a great read it is. The writer managed to create a wonderful evocative sense of the beauty of Africa whilst showing the plight and innocence of child soldiers. The story is fiction, but the backdrop of Joseph Kony and the child soldier situation in Uganda is real. Reading this is a great introduction and easy way to understand more about the situation. The characters were quite simply drawn, but despite this it was so ea ...more
Sally
Jan 20, 2015 Sally rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
I wouldn't have picked this one up usually, but it was long listed for an award I follow so I added it to my pile!

I was actually pleasantly surprised. the writing was good, the illustrations beautiful and the topic surprising adult for what i thought was it's target audience! I think the publishers should have branded this book differently as the cobver and title make it look like a Michael Morpurgo book which is aimed at a younger audience.

The stiry was good though, and realistic too. It does w
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Stephen Palmer
Aimed at a young-to-YA audience, this novel is set in a modern Africa of tribal communities and elephant poachers. Main character Bat rescues an orphaned baby elephant, which, as he grows up, grows alongside him. Eventually the inevitable happens, and Bat is left to live his life without his elephant friend. However, in the second main section of the novel things get a little more unpleasant, with the return of poachers. This is a good book, which I enjoyed reading. I was quite surprised in a fe ...more
Tanja
Haunting, thought-provoking novel allowing insights into the gruesome world of child soldiers in war-torn African countries. It is also the touching and heart-warming tale of a special relationship between a young boy and a wild elephant. Not only was I hooked by the gripping story but also appreciated all the learning that came along with reading this novel. It definitely sparked my interest in reading more about elephants, Koni's child soldiers as well as seeking out other novels by the author ...more
Meredith Fletcher
GingerReader



Please note: I didn't finsih this book as I couldn't carry on because I really didn't like the book

This story is about Bat who lives in a small village in Kenya with his grandmother. The story begins with Bat witnessing poachers cutting away at an elephants tusks. Bat finds the elephants baby and looks after it until it is too big to stay in the village. About halfway through the book Bat and Muka are abducted and have to live with the rebel army.

My favourite character was Lobo as I felt he had
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Karin Carter
I must admit to being a bit reluctant about reading books with animals in them, but as this is 'Carnegie' medal shortlisted I have had to give it a go. It was much better than anticipated. I felt that the descriptions of the African Savannah across the seasons was beuatifully written and the characters were weel-drawn. It was welcomed that this novel was not 'over-violent' as some have been in the past, but still remained true to the subject matter and engaging for the reader
Rachael
A. MA. ZING.

Such a wide range of emotions come with this book, I went from pure joy to laughter to extreme despair and wanting to put the book in the freezer! (joke from Friends!). Reading this felt like I was living it too.

This is a story about Bat, a boy who grows up in a little village in Africa, who finds a baby elephant. The book is written in such a vibrant way, you get so immersed in the life of Bat and the African culture it's like you've travelled through a portal into Africa. There are
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Stephen King
In many ways, an enthralling book. The depictions of African bush life are extremely life-like, and the characters are well formed and believable. However, compared to other recent books on a similar subject, the war descriptions are not so strong. The elephant theme is good and, of course, quite like Morpurgo. I feel the ending was a little too far fetched to be believable, though.
Ramona
This is a truly beautiful book.
I have chosen it this year for our school's 'Whole School Read' which is , itself the biggest compliment I could give as I am recommending it to all our 957 students and our entire staff.
The book starts with a rifle shot, out in the savannah. It is heard by a young boy, Bat, who knows straight away this is a sign of something not good. He finds a baby elephant and at first you are captured by his love and affection for this young elephant thinking it may be a lovle
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Ronni
I was nearly going to give this four stars because there are some quite traumatic parts to this story that I would think would be upsetting to children. However, this story is written extremely well, and has some wonderful and heartwarming moments.
I do love the truth behind the fiction, and I did love the elephants very much.
Recommended for maturer children.
Rachel
This is an amazing book that'd i'd encourage everyone to read, and have been massively recommending it too. As far as in concerned any book that opens up peoples minds and takes them to places and situations they knew nothing to little about is a winner, and this does exactly that. When you read it you are transported into that world, where life isnt easy like we have it here and at times horrendous things happen to good people. I dont think its any good recommending away from books like this, a ...more
Amy Thompson
The book is amazing. The description and imagery is great. I felt like I was in this book and finished during a geography lesson because I jut love this book
Ellie
What an incredible book! I have to be honest, after reading the blurb I was feeling fairly sceptical. I'm not a huge fan of animal friendship books. However, this was so much more than that. The characters were all superbly written, and hugely likeable, though the star of the show was of course Meya the elephant. The author really brought her to life, and she stole the show. My main reason for liking it, though, was the child soldier plot. This made it very different from all other books in this ...more
Yellowoasis
I could tell from the foreshadowing at the start that this book was going to be both a weepy and a look at the brutality of children being taken as soldiers. I did wonder if I was prepared to go through all that – I think a writer has to earn the right to that sort of story and I’m not convinced she did it for me. Of course, some classics get away with this brilliantly (“Where’s Papa going with that ax?”) and you’re prepared to go on the journey with the characters. I guess my discomfort was tha ...more
Barbara
Left this one until last as tend not to like books where animals feature as the main character although I did know this was more than just that - being about child soldiers in Africa.

I found it story of two opposite halves: the gentle way of living with the land and the animals, the day to day routines of the village, it's customs and way of life offset by the harsh cruelty and reality of the children being captured and forced into the army.

Just hope the paperback has a more tempting cover other
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Alison
Beautiful book! Review coming after I consolidate my thoughts. Beautiful writing...
Rebecca
Erm, didn't like it. Just didn't like it. Stooped about halfway through and couldn't get on with it. Sorry but it was awful.
Rebecca Foster
A tale of human-animal friendship can easily turn mawkish, but The Child’s Elephant strikes the right balance, acknowledging that wildness is preeminent and people and animals can only ever have temporary connections. The author does not talk down to the older children who will form her audience. Instead, she displays a deep knowledge of African culture, with lush metaphors and precise descriptions of places and weather. (See my full review at We Love This Book.)
Nadine Martyniuk
A heart warming tale with the bitter truth of an African rebel army; beautifully written.
skippity_doo
Very enjoyable. Almost made me cry on the tube!
Simon
Impressive achievement.
Ruth
Good but could have done with a final edit.
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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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