My book review of 'The Elephant in the Room' by Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Elephant in the Room

by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Recommended age: 8+
The Elephant in the Room
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

A young girl's mother has been forced to return to Turkey when her immigration status in the USA is challenged. While Sila struggles, waiting for her mum to return, she makes new friends and rescues a circus elephant!

On a day away from school, Sila has to accompany her father to a job repairing a truck out of town. They meet a kindly man who has recently won the lottery but living alone, and with no work, he's lost his way in life.

Befriending Sila and her father, he uses his money to rescue a circus elephant and together they make a safe compound for the elephant and try to give it a good home. Flamingos arrive, and then they search for the elephant's mother.

There are many touching elements to this book as Sila copes with her mother being away from home and has to befriend a boy at school who is alienated from the other children. There is friendship across generations and bonding with animals whose needs and habits are delicately placed in the narrative but are nevertheless educational!

This is a beautiful story for readers aged eight upwards exploring connection and separation. It's also a story of humour and hope. Wonderful!

Review date: July 2021
Publication date: 5th August 2021