Tornadoes, a girl with a mysterious past, ghostly visits, and of course elephants combine to bring the most engaging and heartwarming middle grade story of 2020. Elephant’s Girl had me from the beginning then blew me away with its satisfying ending.
Set in an Omaha, Nebraska zoo, Lexington Willow’s first person narration is honest and emotional. She’s pictured on the cover with Nyah, the elephant who saved Lex from a tornado seven years ago Now, supposed 12-year-old Lex is trying to figure out where she came from and why her unknown parents were never found.
She lives with Roger at the zoo, the compassionate engineer of the the zoo’s train who serves as her guardian. He’s like a father but has never pursued adoption. The ghost is someone who plays a vital role in bringing understanding to Lex’s confusing past. The mystery unfolds with the help of Lex’s only friend, a baseball loving boy named Fisher who also lives at the zoo.
Magical and page turning, this is a story I’ll be reading again when I need a lift.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: MAY 19, 2020 PAGE COUNT: 336
THE OFFICIAL BLURB
An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can’t remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.
Now that she’s twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind’s protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah’s message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is–and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT
ELEPHANT’S GIRL by Celesta Rimington
- The friendship between Lex and Fisher was special. Good friends go out of their way to understand each other and none more so than these two.
- I was able to forget what’s going on in our real world and immerse myself in a plot worthy of anyone’s time—both children and adults.
- Even though magical realism surrounds the story, it’s the contemporary issues that will firmly grasp readers—Loneliness, animal rights, friendship and love. A coming of age story like none other.
- Details of life in a zoo serve as the perfect backdrop. Animals really are special.
- Not to be missed are the author’s end of book notes. Here you will learn more about the fascinating world of elephant behavior.
AUTHOR QUOTE (From GOODREADS)
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 in their world for a while. This book is for everyone who has ever battled a storm. Face down the wind, my friends!
Find out more about Celesta Rimington on her website.
I received a digital copy of the book in return for my honest review. Comments are always welcome below.