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Singing with Elephants



by
Margarita Engle

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Viking
ISBN
9780593206690
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Ableism , Discrimination: Xenophobia , Violence: Cruelty to Animals , Violence: General
$21.52   $17.93
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A powerful novel in verse from Newbery and Pura Belpré Award-winning author Margarita Engle about the friendship between a young girl and the poet Gabriela Mistral that leads to healing and hope for both of them.

Cuban-born eleven-year-old Oriol lives in Santa Barbara, California, where she struggles to belong. But most of the time that’s okay, because she enjoys helping her parents care for the many injured animals at their veterinary clinic.

Then Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature, moves to town, and aspiring writer Oriol finds herself opening up. As she begins to create a world of words for herself, Oriol learns it will take courage to stay true to herself and do what she thinks is right—attempting to rescue a baby elephant in need—even if it means keeping secrets from those she loves.

A beautifully written, lyrically told story about the power of friendship—between generations, between humans and animals—and the potential of poetry to inspire action and acceptance.

Author’s note. “Animals”/ “Animales” by Gabriela Mistral. Suggestions for further reading.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Discrimination: Ableism , Discrimination: Xenophobia , Violence: Cruelty to Animals , Violence: General

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

224

Trim Size

8 1/2" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

6.6: points 2

Lexile

NP

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

Sep 2022

Book Genres

Historical Fiction, Novels in Verse, Realistic Fiction

Topics

Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957). Friendship. Poetry. Elephants. Human-animal relationships. Cuban Americans. Santa Barbara, California. 

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7-Both engaging and heartrending, this is a beautifully told story of fifth grader Oriol who lives with her older sister, Cat, and her parents, who are veterinarians. The family emigrated from Cuba to California in order to help Grandma find better treatment for her diabetes-alas, there was nothing to be done, and she passed away. Now lonelier than ever, Oriol, along with her pet wolfhound and miniature goat, seeks solace from a neighbor who happens to be a famous poet. Inspired, Oriol begins to write as well, learning a lot from the Nobel Prize in Literature winner. Much to her dismay, a Hollywood actor, who owns an elephant and her twin calves that Oriol's parents are caring for, decides he is going to separate one of the babies and raise it as if it were an orphan in hopes of forcing it to "talk." Oriol must use her newfound writing ability and courage to rally support for reunifying the family of elephants. Sure she can feel the pain of the mother elephant through the singing and humming sounds she makes, Oriol knows she must act fast. Written in poetic verse, this is a book that readers won't want to put down until the last page. VERDICT A strong purchase for all libraries. Compassion and love abound in a tale of animal activism and personal growth.-Tracy Cronce

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-7-Both engaging and heartrending, this is a beautifully told story of fifth grader Oriol who lives with her older sister, Cat, and her parents, who are veterinarians. The family emigrated from Cuba to California in order to help Grandma find better treatment for her diabetes-alas, there was nothing to be done, and she passed away. Now lonelier than ever, Oriol, along with her pet wolfhound and miniature goat, seeks solace from a neighbor who happens to be a famous poet. Inspired, Oriol begins to write as well, learning a lot from the Nobel Prize in Literature winner. Much to her dismay, a Hollywood actor, who owns an elephant and her twin calves that Oriol's parents are caring for, decides he is going to separate one of the babies and raise it as if it were an orphan in hopes of forcing it to "talk." Oriol must use her newfound writing ability and courage to rally support for reunifying the family of elephants. Sure she can feel the pain of the mother elephant through the singing and humming sounds she makes, Oriol knows she must act fast. Written in poetic verse, this is a book that readers won't want to put down until the last page. VERDICT A strong purchase for all libraries. Compassion and love abound in a tale of animal activism and personal growth.-Tracy Cronce

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Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus
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