Have you “herd”?

Have you “herd”?

There are some great middle grade novels about elephants!

I’ve compiled a list of MG fiction that have elephants in their stories. These books are all works of fiction, but before I list them, here are some true facts about the largest land mammal on Earth.

  • There are 3 kinds of elephants: African bush and forest and Asian.
  • African elephants are physically larger in size than their Asian counterparts as well as African ellies have huge ears in the shape of the African continent. Both males/females grow ivory tusks.
  • They travel in a group call a herd with the female matriarch as their leader.
  • The herd consists of grandma (or oldest/largest female), mothers, aunts, daughters, and a few young males. The older females teach their offspring about survival.
  • They have a set of ivory tusks which are massive teeth that don’t fall out.
  • Their trunks can be as long as 7 feet on a full grown African elephant and are both like a nose for smelling and fingertips for plucking leaves off tree branches.
  • They make low rumblings that sound like thunder that can travel long distances for communication.
  • Even though there is a world-wide ban on poaching, each year more African elephants are illegally killed for their ivory tusks than are being born. Asian elephants suffer from loss of habitat and being forced into the tourism industry.

 

BECAUSE OF KHALID by Carolyn Armstrong
Who: 12 year old African American boy named Chris and a Maasai warrior named Khalid
What: coming of age, friendship, embracing different cultures, poaching, conservation
Where: The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa
When: present day

 

         

BRAVELANDS #3 BLOOD AND BONE and #5 SHIFTING SHADOWS by Erin Hunter
Who: 3 animals’ POV, 1 of them is Sky, an elephant
What: animal fantasy series, action-packed adventures
Where: African savannah

 

THE ELEPHANT’S GIRL by Celesta Rimington
Who: middle schooler Lexington Willow
What: magical realism, telepathy, mystery, adventure
Where: A Nebraska zoo
When: present day

 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE GARDEN by Michael Morpurgo
Who: siblings Lizzie and Karli and unlikely friend, Peter
What: fight for survival, devotion toward elephants, inspired by historical truths
Where: Germany
When: WW2

 

THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT by Kate Di Camillo
Who: orphan Peter Augustus Duchene
What: timeless fable, adventure
Where: the city of Baltese
When: 19th century

 

WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW by Eric Dinerstein
Who: 12 year old Nandu
What: coming of age
Where: Nepal
When: 1970’s

 

THE GIRL WHO STOLE AN ELEPHANT by Nizrana Farook
Who: Chaya and her friends
What: adventure, friendship
Where: Sri Lanka, jungle
When: in the old days

 

ELEPHANT SECRET by Eric Walters
Who: 13 year old girl named Samantha
What: complex elephant-human friendship, cloning controversy
Where: an elephant sanctuary in USA
When: present day

 

RETURN TO THE JUNGLE (The Jungle Book: New Adventures) by Bear Grylls
Who: Mak and friend Diya
What: action packed adventure, poaching
Where: jungle, India
When: present day

 

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate
Who: Ivan, a gorilla, Ruby, a baby elephant, and their animal friends
What: friendship, art-therapy
Where: shopping mall in Washington, USA, purely fictional but inspired by actual events
When: present day

 

THE ELEPHANT KEEPER by Christopher Nicholson
Who: Tom Page
What: a pair of elephants and their relationship with Tom, his devoted caregiver
Where: England
When: 1766