Title: An Elephant in the Garden
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Published by: Square Fish
Publication date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Historical Fiction, Animals, War
Before the bombing of Dresden in 1945, orders at a zoo were to shoot all of the animals because they could no longer be looked after and if they were to escape after a bombing, they would become a major problem. However, one of the women working at the zoo had become very fond of a young elephant and convinced the zoo to let her take the elephant to live in her garden.
An Elephant in the Garden is made up of a few different true stories, such as the one described above. Marpurgo perfectly put them all together to tell a wonderful story of family and strength. An Elephant in the Garden pays tribute to the hope that people shared during such a dark time in history and offers new perspectives on finding happiness amongst tragedy.
This book gave me a new insight into the impacts a war can have on the emotions of people. Most books set in this time period that I come across don’t touch on the hopeful or the happy sides of people in a war zone but this one did and it did a good job of it. I felt like I was there for very step through the cold snow and every interaction with persons that were met along the journey.
I also really liked it because the bonds formed between people and animals really interests me and that was a key part of this book. Marlene the elephant is considered a part of the family and brings joy to hundreds of downtrodden people that she meets along the way. I appreciate any book that humanizes animals and definitely recommend this one to all animal lovers, as well as just about anyone.