The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.
Kids go through so much more than we can ever recall as adults. Seeing a story focusing on a child missing their parent through immigration troubles, that was pretty great. Great in the fact that it makes the effort to step out of what we’ve boxed in as ‘the norm’ for kids.
The author has a wonderfully engaging voice, and we get to not only see a girl missing her mother but an elephant who misses their own mother and family as well. It ties the two together in a really unexpectedly sweet way as there’s no connection to solidify that, just the natural draw the two have to each other.
There’s also autism rep in this book which can be great for inclusion. We need to work more on OwnVoices authors but it’s good to see it become more regular to have stories featuring children who are different in a variety of ways but not less normal or anymore different than others. How well is the rep is not something I can say or judge but I will include any feedback from OwnVoices (positive or negative).
The story itself is pretty straight forward and it jumps around between seeing Gino, Veda’s owner, Sila and her friend Mateo.
Heartwarming, impactful, and hard to put down once you start. I loved this and I was glad to have had a chance to receive an ARC. The spawn and I are reading it together now (I always ‘vet’ books that I receive before passing them on to her).
4/5 cups of coffee from me, this book is on shelves this month! Thank you so much to Piccadilly Press for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.