A magical adventure about a girl with a mysterious connection with the elephant who saved her life, for fans of Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Holm.
An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can't remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.
Now that she's twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind's protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah's message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is--and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.
I was pulled into this book by the description, but stayed for the wonderful writing, and engaging characters. This book, aimed at upper elementary school children is appealing to not only them, but older students, and adults alike. The mystery of where Lexington Willow originated will excite those who enjoy mysteries; the interaction with ghosts will pull in those who enjoy the supernatural; and the interaction, and growth to Lexington’s search for her roots will give those of all ages something to empathize with as they turn each page.
The interaction with the elephant was not as much as I had expected, given the example, but, the teasers with Nyah and the telegraphic images she sends are appropriate for the development of not only Lex’s mystery, but also for the relationships of Lex with her guardian Roger, and her best friend Fisher.
I am very pleased to recommend this book to my students and my family, as well as to those who are reading this review. A winner for sure. This is a debut novel for this author, and I am excited to see what other novels she will be writing. I certainly have become a fan.