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  • The Elephant in the Room

  • Written by: Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • Narrated by: Nikki Massoud
  • Length: 4 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Counting by 7s comes a heartfelt story about "the importance of compassion and bravery when facing life’s challenges” (Kirkus) for fans of The One and Only Ivan and Front Desk.

It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.

The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places. 

A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humor that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.

“I couldn’t stop reading - I had to find out what would happen. An unusual and lovely real-life fairy tale.” (Linda Sue Park, New York Times Bestselling author of A Long Walk to Water)

“A gorgeous and emotional novel. I loved every page.” (Cynthia Kadohata, Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira)

©2021 Holly Goldberg Sloan (P)2021 Listening Library

What the critics say

"Each character wrestles with love and loss and struggles with decisions about when to act and when to wait; each in their own way has insight into the others, and empathy for them.... Sila wonders if people are more compassionate because of their own difficult experiences; in this unique, touching book, the answer is yes." (School Library Journal, starred review)

"Sloan captures the importance of compassion and bravery when facing life’s challenges...themes of collectivity and community in the face of isolation and stigma are brought to the surface and themselves offer depth to this heartfelt and sincere story." (Kirkus)

"Sloan (To Night Owl from Dogfish) fully builds the emotional interiors of each character, including Veda. This heartfelt tale thoughtfully conveys the agony of family separation, the beauty of nature, and the power of friendship to overcome tremendous difficulties." (Publishers Weekly)

“A gorgeous and emotional novel. I loved every page.”(Cynthia Kadohata, Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira)
 

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