Just over two years ago I read and reviewed What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein. It was a tremendously beautiful novel. Now Dinerstein is back with a follow-up … A Circle of Elephants.
Thirteen-year-old Nandu works for the Royal Elephant Breeding Center – a newly established program that houses and protects the royal elephants. The center in on the edge of the jungle, which is good for the elephants to have some native land nearby. But even with the protection of Nandu and the others at the Royal Elephant Breeding Center, the animals and humans alike will be challenged by nature and by men.
Poachers are getting more and more bold, killing rhinos and elephants in the area for their tusks, and even the Royal breed are potential targets for these men without morals. Among these men is a poacher with a personal score to settle with Nandu for the trouble he caused earlier (in the previous book).
As before, Dinerstein’s writing is so natural and casual that it is easy to forget that this is a work of fiction and not an actual journal of events. We can’t help but fall in love with the elephants and wilderness that Nandu clearly cares for. And because we’re brought into the story so nicely we also feel the same fear and concern when the animals are in danger.
This book has just a bit more of a didactic feel to it, as if the goal were to make sure we understand the real dangers for the animals, rather than telling a story and letting us recognize those dangerous as we go. Even so, this is too beautiful a book to ignore and I would love to make sure that every middle school student reads the adventures of Nandu – the world couldn’t help but become a better place if youngster could be brought into a world like this.
Looking for a good book? A Circle of Elephants by Eric Dinerstein continues the adventures of Nandu and elephants in India which could have positive life-changing results on young readers.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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A Circle of Elephants
author: Eric Dinerstein
series: Nandu #2
hardcover, 288 pages