I got to the last page and wished I could have stayed longer in the elephant sanctuary that is the setting of this book.
Thirteen-year old Samantha Gray lives on a North American elephant sanctuary with her father where they care for a herd of elephants. Samantha has lived with the elephants all her life, understands them better than people, and considers them her family. A baby elephant is born on the sanctuary and, because the mother dies during birth, Samantha takes on the responsibility of tending to her needs. About halfway through the book, the secret of the baby elephant is revealed and from there the story takes an intriguing turn. I enjoyed being totally surprised by the twist in this story, so I will say no more.
This book gives readers insight into the characteristics and behavior of elephants, bringing to light what amazing creatures these animals are. Amused by their personalities and fascinated by their loyalty, I adored the elephants. Samantha is a great character, as well, displaying a selfless love for the elephants and bravery when the lives of the elephants is threatened. Although the elephants are central to the plot, another storyline explored Samantha's relationship with her father and her father's girlfriend, adding another tender element to the story.
A compelling read that imagines a possibility that may be fact in our future, calls attention to the need to protect the wildlife of our planet, and warms the heart.
I read an advance reading copy of this book, thanks to the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. This book publishes in August.