Small as an Elephant: A Book Review


Small as an Elephant

Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Summary: Jack wakes up at a Maine campsite, only to find his mother gone. This should be no surprise, when his mother is “spinning,” there is no guessing what will happen, but Jack is only eleven and all alone. On a vacation from Boston, Jack considers telling an adult, but decides to keep mum. After all, this isn’t the first time his mother has left him. Instead, he makes his way around Maine in search for his mother. With little food and less than ten dollars, Jack only has a small, plastic elephant for company. Slowly, but surely, Jack travels around Maine, but now the police are searching for him. Jack knows if he is found, he will never see his mom again. Will Jack escape the police and survive in the wilderness?

My Thoughts: It’s not everyday you find a simple and touching read like Small as an Elephant. Basically, the teenage books for girls are a romantic novel with a mean girl, or a paranormal novel with vampires :) Anyhoo, it was a nice change for me, and I enjoyed Jacks’ story. Based on my {okay} summary, I am sure it sounds boring, but it is actually very engaging! Jennifer Richard Jacobson created a full and developed character out of Jack, and he was easy to relate/connect to. At times, he was mature for his age, which I can base on the fact that he has to fend for himself often, but at other times, I found him acting much younger than nine. But, with that being said, I would be a huge mess in his situation! He managed to find food, bathe, and look for his mom, all without breaking down into tears every five minutes. His mom was an interesting aspect to the story. When I first picked up the book, I imagined his mom got kidnapped or something. But, that wasn’t the case. From what I can gather, she was mentally unstable, which let the reader feel where Jack was coming from. The author included flashbacks very smoothly, and it deepened the relationship between Jack and his mom. The beginning was okay, but once it picked up the pace, I was much more into the story. I love the ending with Lydia the elephant and his grandmother :) So. Sweet! The characters along the way were either a hit or a miss for me. A few were memorable like Big Jack, but others weren’t that remarkable. Thankfully, as minor characters, they didn’t ruin the story. I didn’t fully understand who Big Jack was. Was he a policeman? How did he know where Jack was? The author left some holes in his development. Whether it was intended, I can’t tell. In the end, Small as an Elephant left me wishing for more of Jack and his adventures!

Pros: “Round” characters and an engaging story.

Cons: Nothing in particular, but there’s just something that could have been improved.

Heads Up: Well, a mother does leave his son alone, so I wouldn’t call her a good role model ;) Jack does steal, but it is for his survival! No language or romance issues.

Overall: I give it 4 1/2 {**** 1/2} stars. I recommend it for ages 10 and up.

Bella :)


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