The Child’s Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

by stephenpalmersf

Aimed at a young-to-YA audience, this novel is set in a modern Africa of tribal communities and elephant poachers. Main character Bat rescues an orphaned baby elephant, which, as he grows up, grows alongside him. Eventually the inevitable happens, and Bat is left to live his life without his elephant friend. However, in the second main section of the novel things get a little more unpleasant, with the return of poachers. This is a good book, which I enjoyed reading. I was quite surprised in a few places at the density of the prose – which seemed aimed at an older audience – and also at various POV changes that are unflagged, and require going back to re-read. (I don’t normally comment on this sort of thing, but it surprised me in a novel aimed at this particular audience.) As an evocation of Africa, and of childhood and the perils of life as an older person, this is a great read. 

child's elephant

The Child’s Elephant