Tua and the Elephant is a charming adventure story about a young ten-year-old living in Thailand. One day, while exploring the city of Chiang Mai, Tua finds a young elephant being abused by two men. Right then and there she decides to take the elephant away from its cruel owners and find it a new home. Tua manages to get the elephant, which she names Pohn-Pohn, back to her Aunt Orchid's house, but it turns out her journey has only just started. Now Tua must take Pohn-Pohn to the elephant sanctuary on the other side of town, all the while dodging the elephant's crooked original owners.
This book is a heart-warming tale of inter-species friendship, which teaches that friends can be found in the most unlikely places. The descriptions, along with the wonderful illustrations, allow you to really pretend you are traveling along with Tua during her wild tale. Tua herself is funny and bright, and she was someone I could identify with while reading. This helped make the book a real page turner, and I felt that I couldn't stop until I read it all. I thought that the writing was interesting, yet informative. Pieces of Thailand's culture and language were integrated throughout the story. This gave the whole book a satisfying feel because I was learning while reading. If I had to recommend this book to someone, it definitely would be someone with a lower reading level. Although the story included some higher vocabulary, the plot was jumpy and each plot arch was short. These qualities, along with the fact that the main character was a younger girl, led me to believe that this was targeted for younger age groups. Over all, though, the book was well written, and I found that I could look past all the jumping about to a story that ultimately made me smile.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Exeter, nh USA