The Magician's Elephant

Status: Bookseller Picks

Kate DiCamillo has done it again!


Peter, a young orphaned boy was taken in some years ago by an embittered soldier, who was his father's comrade. He has spent the last few years learning how to be a good soldier like his father, and although he wants to respect his dead father, his heart lies elsewhere. One day, a fortuneteller's tent pops up out of nowhere, and a force compels Peter to visit her and ask a question. Once he meets her, he doesn't even need to ask his question, but is told, "You must follow the elephant. She will lead you there." After all these years, he is faced with the hope that his little sister is still alive and that he will actually find her if he can just figure out this elephant of a riddle.


This captivating story unfolds with a dreamlike quality. The chain of events set up by the arrival of the fortuneteller constantly provokes us to ask ourselves "What if?" The beauty of this story lies in that single thought, and questioning the impossible. "What if?"...when the impossible proves not to be, one cannot help but be filled with hope.


This is a timeless fable that could definitely earn a Newbery, but more importantly inspire kids and adults in abundance. This book feels like Amelie-meets-children's-literature, and I can't wait to start recommending it.

Categories: ages 9-12
by B&N Bookseller Wendell8 on ‎08-17-2009 12:17 AM
I too find this book haunting and surreal. The illustrations are fantastic and Kate DiCamillo uses brevity like a master. I'm currently reading this book to my sons and they always ask for more when I'm finished a chapter. Wendell Nelson. ASM 2986
by B&N Bookseller Jess-M on ‎08-20-2009 07:44 PM
Once again Kate DiCamillo nails it.  She writes such great tales for kids and adults too. Jess M. SM 2746
by catie0826 on ‎11-12-2009 04:48 PM

i don't know if i should read it but every one hasn't read it so i don' have any recomands

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