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The Elephant's Girl

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  198 reviews
An elephant never forgets...but Lexington Willow can't remember her past. When she was a toddler, a tornado swept her away from everyone and everything she knew and landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo, where an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her family, Lex grew up at the zoo with her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fis ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by Crown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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This is a middle grade book. The main character of this book is a girl called Lexington Willow that lives at Nebraska zoo since she was a toddler a tornado swept her to the zoo. This story has magical realism (ghost and the girl talks to the wind and the wind talks to her). This is a heartwarming story that is about a girl finding where she came from, and who she is now. I loved this story, and I could not put this book down all day. I think even if it is a middle grade adults will love this sto ...more

4.5 Stars

A charming, beautifully shared story of a young girl who has few memories of her past, or the family she was born into, her earliest memories being those of a girl too young to remember the day a tornado took her family away, leaving her to be found inside the zoo, beside Nyah, an elephant who wrapped her trunk around the young girl and protected her from the raging winds. Since that day, she has lived at the Lexington Zoo in Omaha with Roger Marsh, the zoo’s train
Celesta Rimington
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi, everyone! I'm the author of The Elephant's Girl. Thank you for visiting! I wrote this magical book for every kid who has ever felt alone and every kid who wants a good friendship story. It's for girls and boys and elephants. It's for kids who'd love the power to talk to the wind and for anyone who enjoys animals, adventure, and a hint of magic. The characters (including the elephant!) were so fun to write and are as real to me as if they told me this story themselves. I hope you enjoy living ...more
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
A heartwarming story about a 12-year old girl named Lexington Willow, who lives at the Omaha Zoo since being found there under the protection of an … elephant named Nyah, following a terrible tornado. Lex has no memories of her life before the storm, and becomes the ward of Roger Marsh, a train engineer, who works at the zoo. Her best friend (Fisher) also lives at the zoo, and like his idol, Johnny Damon, is the product of a mixed marriage and a Thai mother. Lex is homeschooled by Fisher's mom, ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 11 year old daughter and I just finished Celesta's debut novel and LOVED it! Heartwarming, exciting, intelligently written, and with all the feel of a classic, The Elephant's Girl helped us introduce and explore contemporary issues with our kids like mixed/blended families, animal care and rights, cultural awareness, and above all, the importance and power of friendship and love. If you or your kids love animals and the great outdoors, this is a fantastic read!
Betty Culley
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book that feels like a classic.
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, isn't this a beautiful cover!? It is what first drew me to the book.

When she was very young, Lex was found after a tornado being sheltered by a zoo elephant. Nobody every claimed the child, and she was raised at the zoo. As she gets older, she's naturally curious about her parents and what happened, and with the help of the same elephant and a ghost, Lex learns more about her past.

This I really liked about this book: first off - the adults were excellent - I loved how they were involv
Dell Hilton
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quit-reading
Kid Lit (Children’s Literature) has been a favorite genre of mine since I was, well . . . a kid. I guess I never really outgrew it, and that was convenient when I was raising my children—I always had a good book handy for them to dive into. Celesta Rimington’s The Elephant’s Girl is one of those books that I would have been excited to get into my children’s hands. It would actually be a great read-aloud book for the whole family! I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy (it doesn’t come out i ...more
1000 Lives Meg
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher Random House Children's for allowing me to receive this E-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Elephants' Girl
by Celesta Rimington

This is such a hard one for me to review because technically there is nothing bad about it but I just didn't connect or enjoy my reading experience all that much. I felt like the characters were very generic and didn't hook me into the story and the plot took so long to pick up that I found I wasn't interested in
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This sweet story reminded me of another favorite book - Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. This book is real and heartfelt with authentic characters, meaningful relationships, and a touch of magical realism. I loved it! ❤️
Shaye Miller
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lex Willow was only a toddler when, seven years ago, she was found inside the elephant habitat at the Lexington Zoo, after a devastating tornado. She was being guarded by Nyah, a young elephant, and was found only because a ghost pointed the way to where she was located. When a lengthy search turned up no family, she was allowed to live in the zoo with Roger Marsh, the zoo's train engineer, as her guardian. Lex's best friend, Fisher, also lives inside the zoo since his parents are both zoo emplo ...more
Nicole M. Hewitt
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

This book is a wonderful blend of contemporary and mystery with a paranormal twist. Lex doesn’t know anything about her background. At five years old, she was discovered at the zoo with one of the elephants after a tornado, and her family was never found. She’s been raised at the zoo, and ever since has been able to talk to the wind. It took me a little while to figure out if this book was truly a contemporary fantasy
Such a fun, sweet story. It hits so many elements I love in a story which I won't list here so as not to spoil anything but they were great additions to the tale. But if you want to know...(view spoiler). I love elephants so I was initially drawn to the book by the beautiful cover but I was hooked from the first sentence/paragraph by the captivating writing. It sets the mood and tone immediately and it's ju ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Lexington Willow lives in a zoo. Safe inside the zoo fence, she knows what to expect. Everything runs on a schedule, and everyone knows her. Leaving the zoo means being teased by other children and facing the unknown. And Lexington Willow's life has a lot of unknowns: where she came from, who her family is, why she is in a zoo. It isn't until her favorite animal in the zoo--the elephant who saved her from a tornado--sends her a telepathic message that Lex realizes that the answers to her unknown ...more
Kaytee Cobb
You had me at elephant. This touching story takes place in a zoo, centers on family and belonging and friendship, with a bit of bullying and some magical realism thrown in. All in all, really well done.
Peggy Jean Rollins
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After a tornado destroys a small Nebraskan town, a toddler is found at the local zoo protected from the storm by a young elephant. With no trace of her family, the girl is given a home at the zoo. Lexington’s past continues to be a mystery until, 9 years later, she is finally allowed to help care for the zoo’s elephant herd. Pictures flash through her mind the first time her eyes meet those of Nyah, her former protector. This link with Nyah intrigues Lex and stimulates latent memories that spur ...more
Sindy Martinez
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am amazed of how much I love this book. The whole book descriptions of the zoo, the characters and their own emotions were so real. Oh and beautiful book cover too. When I was reading, I felt like I was a part of Lex and her adventures. I liked the magic aspect in each part of the book and how connected Lex was with Nyah. Never read a book like that before. I also really enjoyed the friendship of Lex and Fisher. Fisher always protecting Lex and being a great friend "future boyfriend". But Roge ...more
Kendra Rollins
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this story, the characters are easy to know and love, their insecurities, and Hope's. I couldn't put the book down, an easy read that dropped you right in the middle of the action. I'm reading it again!
May 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

I got this because there was an elephant on the cover. My family is an elephant family. We feed the elephants at the zoo every chance we get, we have elephant art work (the ones painted by elephants, not paintings of elephants), and more. I got this so I could read it and hopefully think my grandmother would like it to get for her. My grandmother does not have a reading level that matches her age. She loves reading though. S
Tiffany Martin
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, the things we think are missing from our lives, aren’t missing at all. We have simply misplaced our ability to see what is right in front of us.

Lexington (Lex) is different from other kids her age for two main reasons. First, following a major tornado, she was found at the zoo being sheltered by an elephant named Nyah. Secondly, she lives at this same zoo with her foster guardian, Roger.

Nyah and Lex share a special bond and communicate on a deep level. When this sends Lex into the wo
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A girl who solves the mystery of hidden treasure by communicating with an elephant and meeting with a ghost. This new middle grade novel will spark imaginations while reminding readers of the many ways elephants can be mistreated. The zoo featured in this book does not abuse their charges, but some have previously been part of circus acts. Our main character Lexington is 12-years-old. When she was just a little girl, a tornado tore her away from her family and she found refuge with an elephant a ...more
Melodie Pennington
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-arcs
The storytelling and heart of Katherine Applegate and Sarah Pennypacker. I can’t wait to share this lovely book.

Lexington Willow lives an unusual life- under the care of a zoo engineer, she lives on the property. But her life has always been unusual- seven years ago, she was found in the elephant habitat after a devastating tornado. This summer has an air of change, and the wind that spoke to Lex her whole life, will push her to explore the mysteries of her world.

Rimington clearly put immense
Laura Rae
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an arc of this book! I really enjoyed reading this book! The story of Nyah and Lexington captures the reader and makes you want to keep turning the pages. The genre of magical realism is not something I normally read but I still enjoyed it! It also gave me a different perspective on elephants and the care they receive!
Apr 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A heartwarming journey for a young girl from loneliness to finally belonging, THE ELEPHANT’S GIRL by Celesta Rimington is filled with magical friendships, majestic animals and true adventure!

Written for middlegrade readers, this book will draw in all ages and make for a valuable addition to any reading collection! Perfect for family reading and discussions, this wonderful fantasy is filled with imagination, emotion and heart as one young girl searches for her past, her family and a place to belo
Kate Marie
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Elephant's Girl is a delightful story about a young girl, Lex, who grows up in a zoo after being separated from her family during a devastating tornado. As a small child, Lex was discovered in the zoo's elephant enclosure in the aftermath of the tornado, sheltered by one of the zoo's elephants, Nyah. Since then, Lex has been raised by the zoo's train engineer, Roger, and has formed special bonds with the people and animals who inhabit the zoo. This is one of those rare gems of a book that ca ...more
May 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Elephant’s Girl is an absolutely beautiful novel, officially middle grade but the kind of story that will move all who read it. I’ve had to sit with it for days after I finished, just turning the story over in my head. Do you remember certain books you read as a child that paint pictures in your head that linger in your memories for a life time? This book is one of those, one that already feels like a classic.

When Lexington was a toddler, a tornado swept through her Nebraska town, separatin
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I want to thank Netgalley and Random House Children's for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. At first glance, I was not sure this book would appeal to me. I am very picky about how mystic realism is used in middle level story lines. The author was spot on for this plot. Rimington used mystic realism perfectly to keep the plot going while at the same time did not make it unbelievable. The pace is perfect and readers of all types, including reluctant readers will be engaged from page 1. Will ...more
4.5 strong stars

I absolutely loved this story about Lexington, a young orphan who was saved by a zoo elephant from a hurricane, but remembered nothing about her family or where she came from. She grows up in the zoo with the zoo engineer (he runs the trains) and loves all the animals, but has a special connection with the elephant who saved her life. She can communicate with the elephant, but can also communicate with the wind, both of which makes her stand out at school and teased enough that s
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 out of 5 🌟 A great dose of mystery and magical realism

Lexington Willow is quite an unusual name and its owner earned it by even more unusual circumstances. Seven years ago a great tornado hit Lexington, Nebraska wrecking havoc and changing people’s lives. That day in Lexington’s zoo, Roger Marsh — one of the employees — found in an elephant barn a young girl displaced by the destructive wind. And since her parents couldn’t be found, Roger gave her her name and invited to his home.

From the ve
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a story I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. I mean, I knew there was going to be some great moments, with what was added to the synopsis, but sometimes it doesn't have much of those feels. But, this one showed me there could be many fun and emotional moments, combined. Plus, talks of ghost are real in here, especially when it comes to one person in particular. That's another part that really peaked my interest, definitely what pushed me to get to know everyone involved with it.

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Celesta writes magical realism books for middle grade readers. Her debut novel THE ELEPHANT'S GIRL released in May 2020 from Crown Books for Young Readers and Random House Children's Books. Her second novel, TIPS FOR MAGICIANS (Crown BFY/RHCB), is scheduled for summer 2021. Celesta has lived in nearly every region of the United States, and her settings are inspired by these places and what makes t ...more

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