Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook

I loved this Robin Hood style story in which an unlikely hero steals from the rich (including the tyrannical king) to help those who are struggling in the community. Is this right? Is this wrong? Will good win in the end? 

Chaya, Noor and Neel have to be true to themselves to find the answers. Working together, they struggle against frightening guards, being chased through the jungle and a seemingly unbreakable prison. Along the way, they come across the most beautiful elephant who becomes a special friend. The setting of the Sri Lankan jungle is described in great detail making the reader feel like they are there with the characters, a part of the adventure!

The main character, Chaya, is feisty and determined to make things right but keep an eye on the other members of the trio, Noor and Neel. They may not seem quite as tough to begin with but they come into their own as the story progresses. Their own personal journeys are key to the outcome of the story!

The Sri Lankan jungle is a fascinating setting! It brings the wider world a little bit closer for the reader and gives children a taste of another culture. It may just inspire them to want to travel there one day or find out more. The jungle almost becomes a character itself – so important to the detail of the story.

This book is wonderful to read and so engaging! I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a day. I highly recommend it for a class read or family read aloud. Children in Upper Key Stage Two (or other strong readers) would really enjoy the challenge of reading it independently.

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