Well, hallo bookworms and elephants and other living things in the world.
IT’S ONLY 9 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. And, if you didn’t notice, I’m feeling punny today.
You know how I said I was going to read more Michael Morpurgo? I actually don’t think I did say that, but I thought this book looked like a happy little book therefore I decided to read it. You know how they say don’t judge a book by its cover? Well that’s what I did with this book and I was proved wrong. This book is not a happy little book; it’s actually pretty depressing most of the time, but what else can you expect from a book about war and animals written by Morpurgo?
Dresden, Germany. World War II. Lizzie’s father has gone to fight the Russians and her mother becomes a zookeeper at the local zoo, where she grows especially close to one of the elephants: a young orphan named Marlene. When the bombs begin to fall on Dresden, Lizzie, her family and her new sister Marlene are forced to flee from the only home they’ve ever known and into the endless German countryside along with thousands of other refugees from across the country. But when they find a fallen enemy pilot, Peter, in their uncle’s abandoned house, their journey is packed with hundreds of new dangers and risks round every corner. They still have a long way to go but, with the Russians gaining on them and a Canadian pilot by their side, their journey is becoming even more difficult. Will this new family be able to survive the cold trip to safety before they are captured by the police? Is it really possible for an elephant to be the one who keeps them alive?
So first of all I’d just like to mention that 97.53% of this book was walking. It’s basically all they did. (In case you’re wondering, the other 2.47% was sleeping). There was literally so much walking and at times it was a little boring because there were constant descriptions of the cold weather. Nevertheless, the descriptions were very well written and I think Morpurgo is a brilliant storyteller. A few times I was genuinely petrified to turn over the page because there were plenty of surprises, sometimes terrifying, sometimes exciting and sometimes both. But then it just went back to more walking and whining about aching legs and empty stomachs and I was a bit disappointed. BUT, even if it was a bit boring, I got some pretty clear images of how much this journey would suck and I’m not surprised Lizzie complained. As I said, Morpurgo is fabulous when it comes to descriptions, and all of the characters were really sweet and I loved them all. The choir children were so cute and I love how they would just sing as they walked to lift everyone’s spirits. And even though Marlene couldn’t really talk, she was my favourite character because who doesn’t love an elephant that is basically adopted by a German family and is a total ice breaker/life saver? Marlene just being with them would interest soldiers so much that they wouldn’t ask suspicious questions about Peter and might even share their food. I think everyone should have an elephant to be honest.
Clover count: ♣♣♣♣♣♣ (6/10)