Home > Intermediate Fiction, Junior Fiction, War > An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo. Pub.HarperCollins, 2010.

It is always a privilege to read a Michael Morpurgo novel and this is my first children’s novel for the new year.

As always it is stunning and shows a great undersatanding of the human psyche particularly during war time and in the way they react to animals.

The story is set in Dresden in world war two just before the Allies bombed it into oblivion. Lizzie is 16 her brther Karli is 8 or 9 and their mother(Mutti) works at Dresden zoo. Mutti becomes apprehensive as to what will become of the animals as the Allies begin to squeeze Hitler’s germany into submission.

Of particular concern to Mutti was Marlene, a 4 year old elephant named after the singer/actress Marlene Dietrich. As the bombers fly over Dresden to deliver their deadly cargo Mutti, Lizzie and Karli are trying to catch Marlene who has headed for the woods to chase a dog. Oh what luck, Dresden is flattened and scores of refugees pour out the city into the countryside.

Mutti, Lizzie, Karli and Marlene head across country to their uncles farm and so begins an odyssy that will see out the end of the war. And then they meet Peter!!

Read the rest it is a brilliant story for middle school and intermediate school students. Michael Morpurgo never disappoints.

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