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Publisher's Summary

When 11-year-old Jack Martel crawls out of his pup tent on the first morning of his camping trip with his mom in Acadia National Park, he notices right away that something isn’t right. Where is his mom’s tent, and their rental car? And where is his mom? Any other kid might panic, might even go to the police. But Jack isn’t like other kids. And his mom isn’t like other moms.

Jack knows that it’s up to him to find his mom before someone figures out what’s happened and separates them forever. But finding his mom in the state of Maine isn’t the same as finding her in their neighborhood back in Boston. With nothing but a small plastic elephant to keep him company, Jack begins his search, starting with all the places they’d planned to visit together. But as the search drags on, a dark thought plagues him: once he finds his mom, will he ever be able to forgive her?

©2011 Jennifer Richard Jacobson, original book published by Candlewick Press (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Excerpt from The Magician's Elephant © 2009 by Kate DiCamillo. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Tender story involving mentally ill mother

Beautifully written story of a young boy's love and endless devotion to his mother who struggles with manic episodes and mental illness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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perfect

I love this story
the reader was fantastic he showed emotion and I felt like I was in Jacks shoes sometimes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Unexpectedly hopeful and satisfying

This is a lovely, hopeful read about, Jack, an 11-year-old boy who finds himself abandoned at a Maine campground while on vacation with his mom. When I chose to read this book, I didn't realize the reason his mom left him was due to her mental illness; had I known, I'm not sure I would have chosen this book (expecting it to be too heart wrenching). I'm glad I read "Small as an Elephant" though -- it captures the resilience and hope that sometimes only children have, and their ability to forgive. As Jack tries to make his way back to the home he shares with his mom in Massachusetts, he experiences hunger, homelessness, fear of being found and concern about the repercussions of his mom's departure on his life. Through it all, Jack persists and endures... he is inspired by his knowledge of elephants and their traits. I don't want to give away the ending -- like the rest of the story, it is hopeful and satisfying. I listened to this as an audiobook, and found the narration made the story come alive. I highly recommend Small as an Elephant: It's an interesting, satisfying children's book with appeal for readers of all ages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

the book is amazing

This book made me sit up and read it it had everything I liked in it like it was adventures and sad it just amazing even though I like game and thought It would be a boring book but this book made me cry because it was over.

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Great story. So-so Narrator.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did. I grew up with an undiagnosed bipolar single mother. This book is a great story about mental illness and the love of a child for their parent, no matter what the parent puts them through. How forgiving children are is astonishing. I could relate with Jack. From beginning to end, I felt a kindred spirit. I felt his pain and worry and fear. His drive to survive mirrored my own growing up.

Any additional comments?

Great heart tugging story. Give it a chance.