Thursday, June 23, 2011

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Jack and his mom had spent the night at their campground in Acadia National Park in Maine. At least that's what Jack thought, but when he crawled out of his tent in the morning he found his mom, their camping gear and their car all gone. At first he tried to be logical. Maybe she found a better campsite and moved nearby. Maybe she went to buy food for breakfast. Maybe . . . Jack didn't know but he tried not to panic. After all, he had lived with his mom and her wild mood swings all his life. She would be back; he knew she would.

But she didn't come back and Jack got hungry and within a couple of days he began to seriously search for her in nearby towns. Eventually he knew he had to get himself home, from Maine to Boston, without attracting the attention of anyone who would call the child welfare authorities and take him away from his mom. With only a small plastic elephant to give him courage, Jack set off.

This is a different kind of survival story. Instead of the wilderness, Jack needs to travel the roads to home, finding food and shelter, without looking like an abandoned child. Sometimes I really wished that Jack would trust some of the adults he meets, but I knew he was too afraid of what might happen. Small as an Elephant is story that makes you care so very much about the main character that you simply can't put it down. Jack is a character you won't forget.

Click here to listen to a portion of Small as an Elephant

or watch this video book trailer.