Recently I read an amazingly deep and moving book called The Child’s Elephant. It’s by Rachael Campbell Johnston and although she may not be the most famous and well-known of authors, she is truly talented and a wonderful writer.
I wrote a book review on it. At first I was stuck for words, which is a very unusual situation for me to be in, it’s just one of those few books that take your breath away and leave you lost and with your brain swirling round and round with ideas, emotions and long adjectives.
Eventually I found the words that would best describe this book and the way I felt about it.
THE CHILD’S ELEPHANT, by Rachael Campbell Johnston
This book made me want to cry with sadness, shout with anger, sigh with relief and be speechless with wonder all at the same time. I think the reason it’s like this is because it expresses the feelings of the character in such a way that it makes you feel it too. The book is very emotive. It plays with people’s different emotions, setting different ones off at different times.
The Child’s Elephant is very real, it tackles issues such as drunkenness, poaching, moral dilemmas, bullying and child soldiers.
My favourite part of the book is actually the bit that I found hardest to read. It’s when children no older than myself are captured from remote villages in Africa and are forced to hurt their families and fight as soldiers.
The ordeals the kids have to go through are tremendous, yet they’re tough and they keep on going. They believe in hope and try to keep their spirits up, but they try harder than anything not to give up. Maybe it’s fear that keeps them going, maybe it’s hope. I don’t know how they do it.
A bit of the book that is nice and wonderful is the bit about elephants. It’s about the relationship between a boy who rescued an orphaned calf and that calf as she grows to become a matriarch of the herd and have calves herself. Elephants have understandings far greater than humans ever have had. They know when things are stormy or calm and can sense if someone is in need of help or sick and dying. A quote from the book is, ” If elephants ruled our world instead of humans, it would be a better place to live. No war, just peace, no child soldiers.”
This book overwhelmed me, inspired me to try to make peace in this world and totally moved me. I love it and it’s by far the best book I’ve ever read in my 11 years and trust me, I’ve read a lot of books.