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An Elephant in the Garden

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Key Stage 2 Animal Stories

LoveReading View on An Elephant in the Garden

Once again the former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, weaves an intensely moving story about an extraordinary animal caught up in a very human war. It’s World War Two in Germany, the animals in Dresden Zoo are to be killed because of the bombing but Elizabeth's mother who works there decides to save a young elephant and keep it in her garden. When her house is bombed she and her children and Marlene the elephant must escape the bombings and the Russians.  It’s utterly compelling and like Michael’s other animal stories such as Adolphus Tips, Kaspar the Cat, The Butterfly Lion and Where the Whales Came, it is not to be missed.



An Elephant in the Garden Synopsis

A thrilling and moving new novel about an extraordinary animal caught up in a very human war, for anyone who loved The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips or The Butterfly Lion! It's 1944. Elizabeth's father is fighting with the German army on the eastern front. Her mother works at Dresden zoo, where her favourite animal is a young elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok if the town is bombed, Elizabeth's mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her! and then the bombs start to fall. Their home destroyed, Elizabeth and her family must flee the bombed-out city and through the wintery landscape, all the while avoiding the Russian troops who are drawing ever closer. It would be hard enough, without an elephant in tow!

An Elephant in the Garden Reader Reviews

A small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review An Elephant In The Garden.  You can read their reviews below.

Bethany Urquhart, age 7 - 'This is so exciting, I keep wondering what will happen next?’  Click Here to read the full review.

Matilda Greenacre, age 7 - 'This book is a bit scary, because it is set in the 2nd world war, in Germany during the bombing.'  Click Here to read the full review.

Emma Baird, age 11 - 'This is a very emotionally sad book as the war was a terrible time, but this book is also full of excitement as the group flee from the war. It is also very funny because of Marlene, the elephant.' Click Here to read the full review.

Alex Crisp, age 8 - 'This book is similar to ‘Toro Toro’ because it is about an old person telling a child about their own childhood. This story is set in Dresden in the Second World War and features a dad away fighting, an enemy soldier on the run, an elephant, two children and their mother.'  Click Here to read the full review.

Evie Young, age 8 - 'An exciting story about a family and an elephant during World War II.'  Click Here to read the full review.

Book Information

ISBN: 9780007339587
Publication date: 9th June 2011
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 240 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Animal Stories

About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent.  One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 150 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, ...

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