Publisher: Chronicle Books
Year of publication: 2012
# of chapters: 29
# of pages: 202
Website: Chronicle Books
Plot summary (from Chronicle Books):
Ten-year-old Tua—Thai for “peanut”—has everything she needs at home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, except for one thing she’s always wanted: a sister. In the market one day, Tua makes an accidental acquaintance—one with wise, loving eyes, remarkable strength, and a very curious trunk. And when Tua meets Pohn-Pohn, it’s clear this elephant needs her help. Together, the unusual team sets off on a remarkable journey to escape from Pohn-Pohn’s vile captors. From the bustling night market to the hallowed halls of a Buddhist temple and finally, to the sanctuary of an elephant refuge, this clever girl and her beloved companion find that right under their noses is exactly what each has been searching for: a friend.
The characters and settings are original. The story is about a ten-year-old Thai girl who adopts a baby elephant. I don't know any other MG novel about elephants or set in Thailand. This is a big plus for me. I love reading about settings I'm not familiar with. This book taught me many things I didn't know about elephants in Thailand.
I'm not a big fan of omniscient POV. Most recent novels have limited POVs. There was a lot of "head hopping" in this book, which I consider as poor writing.
This book contains many Thai words I couldn't understand, which I found very irritating. Using a few foreign expressions is okay, when their meanings are made clear and if there is a purpose for them. This book had too many, and often the meaning wasn't clear. I could kind of understand based on the context, but it bothered me.
I found grammar errors, which surprised me, since this book was published by Chronicle Books. For example, the author occasionally uses action tags as dialogue tags: "Sound as a cork," the man beamed. Beamed is not a manner of speech, so it cannot be used as a dialogue tag.
What makes this book unique
I learned a thing or two about Thailand, and having an elephant as a pet is unusual. Makes a change from puppies!
I had the impression that this book was written more to sensitize the reader to the situation of elephants in Thailand than to tell a great story. Maybe it's just me. I've read great reviews about this book. I didn't particularly like it, for all the reasons cited above. I did learn something about elephants, so I'm still happy to have read it.
Thinking of purchasing this book? I'll make it easy for you: