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Small as an Elephant Hardcover – March 8, 2011
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- Jennifer Richard Jacobson — Quote
About the Author
Of Small as an Elephant, the author says, "I believe in Jack and his ability to understand his mother in shades of gray. I believe in his ability to be fiercely independent: to try and try and try . . . and at the same time to recognize that he needs others. That others are right there, waiting to catch him."
Top Customer Reviews
This is the story of Jack, and eleven-year-old from Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, who finds himself alone at a campground in Maine. His mother suffers from mental illness and has abandoned him. Jack knows that if he tells anyone about this, he will most likely be taken from his mother, and since this has happened before, he decides to try to find her before doing anything else. After discovering that his mother is not accessible, he decides to try to make it home. Once he realizes just how far away home is, he decides to do something that he hopes will let his mom know he forgives her. His struggles to get enough to eat, find a decent place to sleep, keep him from admitting that he and his mother need help. But eventually, Jack receives the help he needs.
Some reviewers think the parts about the elephants are not necessary, but I disagree. Jack's love of elephants and the small plastic elephant he carries for most of his journey, help Jack complete his journey. Maybe it's because I have a similar passion for horses that I can understand Jack's passion and his clinging to that passion to avoid thinking about his mother's abandonment and the feelings that go with it. Yes, Jack does sometimes behave both older and younger than his age, but having worked with kids his age as well as younger and older, I can say that while some kids mature faster than others, but they all have moments of contradictory behavior (like many adults, too). In addition, sadly enough there are all to many children in the world who have to learn to take care of themselves far earlier than they should. I found this book an interesting, empathy-inducing read.
It will hook kids immediately. It's fast paced but allows you to totally understand Jack; to get inside his head and heart. Kids will relate to Jack and be astonished at how logical his whole escapade is. I loved that as emotionally draining this book is, it also has a wonderful resolution.
Excellent writing. I can't wait to put this book in the hands of boys or girls at my school!
Of course for me what was most impressive about Small as an Elephant was the level of writing Jacobson exhibits. She is obviously a talented storyteller, but the connection she creates between Jack and the reader really goes above and beyond. Readers will commiserate with Jack and his situation, and find themselves overwhelmed by Jack's futile thoughts of living with his mother again, and will tear up with the books touching and fantastic ending. Really it is this level of writing and connection to Jack that brings Small as an Elephant from a good book to a must read.
All in all Small as an Elephant is a fantastic book. While it is short, readers will thoroughly enjoy the book. Jack is endearing and relatable, the premise is unique, and the level of writing is superb. Defiantly worth the purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved the characters and the honest but sensitive handling of how a child might struggle with a mentally ill parent or caregiver. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lydia Trom
a great book, especially if you live on the coast of MAINE.Published 2 months ago by Mary L. Hazelton
Sweet Story. The adventures and survival of the young boy in the story kept me reading cover to cover. Great book for adults and older children (9 years old and up)Published 3 months ago by Nancy Skurla
I loved this book,it was just incredible! I really liked how it wrote on almost every part of the journeyPublished 4 months ago by js733
Very well written and kept my attention the whole time. I kept screaming in my head what I thought Jack should do, but felt relieved at the end that he didn't listen to me.Published 5 months ago by John Hill
i was prepared not to like this book because as a child i knew elephants. i did not hope the suthor could really understand and describe accurately the magic of meeting an... Read morePublished 5 months ago by avidreader
I am reading this book for a school project and it's literally one of the best books that I've ever read, and I honestly don't really like reading.Published 5 months ago by Aquinnah