Kate DiCamillo’s beautiful story about a boy searching for his sister and an elephant, and the adults surrounding them touches on tragedy, belief and hope. Who cannot help but ache for Peter, who is being raised by a harsh old soldier, unsure if his sister survived after the death of his mother, and yet, always searches, always asks, always hopes despite adversity. The magical appearance of an elephant disturbs the town, and we watch who accuses the elephant, who takes advantage of the elephant and who helps the elephant. Peter understands what the elephant needs, and in helping the elephant, he also finds his sister. Yoko Tanaka’s illustrations complement the story with precisely the right tone of quaint mystery.
Find a discussion guide at http://www.candlewick.com/book_files/0763644102.btg.1.pdf