The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook is a puzzle-solving, game-lovers prequel to the beloved Mr. Lemoncello book series. Readers will meet Mr. Lemoncello when he was a young kid and they will meet the people who influenced him to become the man he is today.
This title was a great read and was one of the titles chosen for my online School Year Book Clubs for ages 8-10 in 2023. We had a great discussion about the enjoyable main characters in this fantastic story.
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Length: 256 pages
First Published: 2022
The Girl Who Stole an Elephant
Chaya, a nobleman’s rebellious, outspoken, no-nonsense daughter, just can’t resist the shiny temptations the king’s palace has to offer.
But playing Robin Hood for an impoverished community doesn’t come without risks, and when Chaya steals the queen’s jewels from a bedside table—a messy getaway jeopardizes the life of a close friend. After an equally haphazard prison break, Chaya barely escapes…on the king’s prized elephant!
With leeches and revolution lurking in the jungle, Chaya leads her companions on a daring escapade. But after leaving her village as a thief, can she return as a hero? Or will Chaya’s sticky fingers be the beginning—or the end—of everything for this ragtag gang of getaways?
My Goodreads Review
Chaya, a rebellious daughter of a nobleman can’t help her life as a “Robin Hood.” She is unable to stand aside while the people in her poor village suffer and the riches of the palace are within her thieving grasp. Unfortunately, when she steals the queen’s jewels from the queen’s bedside table, she sets off a series of life-threatening events, including a messy prison break and a disastrous trek through the jungle with a stolen elephant. Now it is up to her to clear her name and set things right in the Kingdom by joining the revolution. But will the people consider her a thief or a hero in the end?
This was such an enjoyable title to read and discuss with my 8-10-year-old online book club. Chaya is a likable main character and so are the two friends who join her in this adventure. They have very different personalities and temperaments, but the non-stop adventure brings them together. We discussed what made two of the characters evolve into friends when they started as enemies.
This was a great book if you want to talk about cliffhangers with your kids as well. Almost every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, offering a great opportunity to talk about the difference between cliffhangers and the climax of the story.
This was definitely a fun read and an adventure book that your elementary school child will enjoy!
Discussion Questions for Your Homeschool Study
1. The first sentence of this book drops the reader right into the action. How did you feel as you read the first few sentences? Did it work to draw you into the story?
2. The first and last line of chapter one are the same first and last line of the final chapter. This repetition shows us that although things have changed in the Kingdom of Serendib, many things are still the same. What has changed and what remains the same?
3. What makes Chaya and Nour unlikely friends? How do they feel about each other when they meet? What finally brings them together?
4. Many of the chapters in this book end with a cliffhanger (an ending that leaves the reader in suspense). What effect did this have on your reading? Did you have a favorite cliffhanger moment?
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