Fourteen-year-old Nick left Burma when he was five years old, leaving behind his father on his teak plantation. Now it’s 1944, and Nick’s mom wants him away from the blitz in London, but she doesn’t realize the war is coming to Burma also.
In fact, Nick gets to Burma just before the Japanese do, and there’s no time to carry out Nick’s dad’s plan for getting him and the daughter of his head elephant driver to safety in India.
When the Japanese come to the plantation, they keep Nick there but send his father to a labor camp.
Nick will learn to work hard to avoid getting beaten, he’ll learn Japanese, he’ll see cruelty, learn about betrayal and he’ll gain new friends.
He’ll ride the very elephant that attacked him; he’ll risk his life to get information about the Japanese plans; and he’ll discover why his great-grandfather built fireplaces in every room of a house in the tropics.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith (Hyperion Books, 2007) 318 pages.