cover image The Great American Elephant Chase

The Great American Elephant Chase

Gillian Cross / Author Holiday House $17.95 (193p) ISBN 978-0-

A lucky blunder frees orphaned Tad from his dreary routine in a grim mining town and allows him to begin a new life on the road, caring for the elephant Khush. When Tad's new boss, goodhearted con man Michael Keenan, is killed in a freak accident, a pair of greedy villains from Tad's hometown are determined to lay claim to the valuable pachyderm. Spurred on equally by his love for Khush and the demands of Keenan's imperious daughter, Cissie, Tad resolves to keep his charge out of the clutches of his old enemies. Together, Tad, Cissie and Khush travel from Pennsylvania to the plains of Nebraska in search of a safe haven. The chase is thrilling, the landscape brilliant and sprawling, the characters thoughtfully drawn; these elements alone provide uncommonly thrilling reading. But this novel offers more than mere adventure; along with rescuing the great elephant, Tad saves something just as important--his sense of self. Thanks to Cross's piercing insight and subtle writing, her novel's message never becomes obvious; but rather is skillfully interwoven throughout this multi-layered work--a truthful exploration of emotional growth and change. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)