Clever, sensitive 12-year-old Jama likes elephants better than people, and she's starting to chafe against the expectations of what a proper Maasai girl should want. While her classmates gossip — especially about the new boy, Leku — Jama instead takes refuge at the watering hole outside her village. There she befriends a baby elephant she names Mbegu, the Swahili word for seed. When Mbegu’s mother, frightened by poachers, stampedes, Jama and Mbegu are blamed for two deaths — one elephant and one human. Now Leku, whose mysterious and imposing father is head ranger at the conservancy, may be their only lifeline.
Inspired by true events, The Elephant Girl is a moving exploration of the bonds between creatures and the power of belonging. Best-selling author James Patterson and award-winning author Ellen Banda-Aaku deliver an unforgettable story of a girl, an elephant, and their life-changing friendship.
"Jama’s desire for a different version of [Maasai] womanhood, one that includes an education and autonomy, causes her best friend, who dreams of boys and marriage, to slowly begin withdrawing from her.... Poaching, conservation efforts, and elephant behavior are explored through Jama’s experiences with the baby elephant. Creating the life you want from the ashes of your old one is a prominent theme in this narrative as Jama sheds old friendships and becomes a young woman. Emotionally thrilling and richly satisfying." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||10 - 13|
|Author||James Patterson, Ellen Banda-Aaku|
|Publication Date||Jul 25, 2022|