Deb Y. (Blanco, TX)
Who would have thought a novel about elephants would be worth reading? Not I, she said. However, I have to admit I was wrong, very wrong. I am a sucker for stories told in the first person (this time by the elephant keeper, not the elephants - hence, the name of the book) and this one was lovely. It is a book definitely worth your time - and it certainly won't be any trouble.
Molly B. (Longmont, CO)
Good summer reading
This book is full of great information about the nature of elephants and humans, as well as life in 18th century England. Details about the care of elephants and horses in that era add to the interest of the story. The writing is as gentle as the souls of the two main characters, and the author subtly has the reader become a part of the connection between the two. The communication between elephant and boy is so natural and easy that I stopped in mid-book once, said to myself, "Wait, I'm not even questioning this?" and then continued reading with no doubt about it. I don't even think it was suspension of disbelief. By writing this book, Mr. Nicholson has done a great service to both elephants and readers.
Heather F. (Orlando, FL)
A Great Read
The Elephant Keeper is a wonderfully touching story that kept me rapt through the chapters. The relationship between Tom and the two elephants he cares for is portrayed very sensitively and with a great empathy that brings a real depth to the story. Although I did find the instances of elephant cruelty to be upsetting, overall. I found the story very well rounded. I enjoyed learning so much about the daily lives and habits of elephants, they are remarkable creatures that I have long been interested in. I also thought that the candid portrayal of eighteenth century life was rendered very well. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy animal stories and additionally to those who are searching for a great coming of age story.
Amellia H. (Omaha, Nebraska)
Let's see, I would have to say this is reminiscent of "Water for Elephants." Not completely because of the "elephant" theme, but rather a book in which you learn so much! I loved the characters ... all of them, from the Timothy to Lord Bidborough, good or bad, happy or sad. I even loved the obsessive nature of one of the characters, it makes that character all too real! I think many readers will immediately fall in love with learning the lives of elephants. I know I did, and I also learned what amazing memories elephants have. You can't help but look at the elephants at the zoo in a new way. Give this a try, I don't see how you could be disappointed! :)
Kathryn K. (Oceanside, CA)
A Joy to Read!
Every once in a while a book comes along that is a joy to read. This coming of age story about a boy and an elephant is such a book.
Set in 18th century England, it is amusing, moving, as well as fascinating. Its really a love story a tale about a young boy and Jenny, the elephant, growing into adulthood together. Thanks to Nicholson, Ill never think about elephants in the same way again! Who says dog is mans best friend? In this story its an elephant! When I finished the last page, I thought with a sigh -- what a great read! It's a "keeper" -- I can't wait to share it with my friends!
Judy K. (Conroe, TX)
The Elephant Keeper is a Keeper!
This will have to go down as one of my favorite books ever. I read it almost straight through. I kept thinking Id put it down, but then
just one more chapter. I got so caught up in Toms story, Jennys story, and the evolution of their bond and of Toms character. The book reminded me of stories I read and loved in my youth, but it is not a childrens book at all. Its a book about love, devotion, patience and endurance. Not to be missed.
Diana G. (Elmhurst, IL)
The Elephant Keeper - two books in one
My reading of The Elephant Keeper found it to be two books in one. The first book is the story and the second book is the wonderful facts that are shared about elephants.
I did enjoy this book but felt misled by the cover. I was expecting a soft love story about an elephant keeper and his charges, which I found in the first half, but then the book took a turn to the dark when the lines in their relationships started to blur. Overall it was a good book told in an enjoyable narrative of the literal history of the elephant charges. I think if you enjoyed Modoc-The True Story of The Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived (my favorite elephant book), The Cowboy and His Elephant and/or When Elephants Weep, youll find this a fine addition to your elephant reading list.