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The Elephant in the Room Hardcover – March 2, 2021

4.6 out of 5 stars 244 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8-Sila Tekin lives in Oregon's Willamette Valley with her parents, who immigrated from Turkey 14 years ago, but a problem with her mother's paperwork means she has to return to Turkey to sort it out. What was supposed to be an eight-day trip stretches into months, and Sila misses her mother desperately. Two chance meetings provide the only thing big enough to take her mind off missing her mother: an elephant named Veda, purchased by an elderly lottery winner Sila met when her auto mechanic dad helped fix his truck. Gio Gardino-coincidentally, the widower of Sila's beloved second grade teacher-is perfectly positioned to set up an elephant sanctuary, and Sila convinces her dad to let her work there over the summer. Sila includes her autistic school friend Mateo Lopez in her plan, and his mother, a Mexican American lawyer, later proves helpful to the Tekin family. Sila is at the heart of the story, told in close third person, but narration shifts in some sections to focus on Gio and Mateo and even, briefly, Veda. Each character wrestles with love and loss and struggles with decisions about when to act and when to wait; each in their own way has insight into the others, and empathy for them. VERDICT Sila wonders if people are more compassionate because of their own difficult experiences; in this unique, touching book, the answer is yes. Recommended for all collections.-Jenny Arch, formerly at Winchester P.L., MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

“I couldn’t stop reading—I had to find out what would happen. An unusual and lovely real-life fairy tale.” Linda Sue Park, New York Times Bestselling author of A Long Walk to Water

“A gorgeous and emotional novel. I loved every page.” —Cynthia Kadohata, Newbery Medal-winning author of
Kira-Kira

★ "Each character wrestles with love and loss and struggles with decisions about when to act and when to wait; each in their own way has insight into the others, and empathy for them . . . Sila wonders if people are more compassionate because of their own difficult experiences; in this unique, touching book, the answer is yes." —
School Library Journal, starred review

"Using multiple narrative perspectives, [Goldberg Sloan] touches on many weighty topics (grief, autism, deportation, animal cruelty), handling each with sensitivity." —
Booklist

"Sloan captures the importance of compassion and bravery when facing life’s challenges . . . themes of collectivity and community in the face of isolation and stigma are brought to the surface and themselves offer depth to this heartfelt and sincere story." —
Kirkus

"Sloan (To Night Owl from Dogfish) fully builds the emotional interiors of each character, including Veda. This heartfelt tale thoughtfully conveys the agony of family separation, the beauty of nature, and the power of friendship to overcome tremendous difficulties." —Publishers Weekly

"This beautiful story and the wonderful connections between all of the characters remind readers that very often people and animals come into our lives for a reason and usually just when we need them the most. A perfect title for middle school, fans of animal stories, and a great suggestion for readers looking for books that help deal with loss, heartache, and hope." —School Library Connection

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rocky Pond Books; First Printing edition (March 2, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 256 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0735229945
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0735229945
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 10 - 14 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 790L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 5 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.88 x 0.89 x 8.56 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 244 ratings

About the author

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Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Michigan and spent her childhood living in Holland, Turkey, Washington DC, Berkeley, California and Eugene, Oregon. She was the screenwriter on the Disney baseball film ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD, and she was the screenwriter and the Director on Disney's THE BIG GREEN. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband, television writer and illustrator Gary Rosen, in Santa Monica, California. She has published six novels, including Counting By 7s, Short, I'll Be There and Appleblossom the Possum. Her books have appeared on over 44 state reading lists, and have won awards around the world.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
244 global ratings

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