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Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    Very Controversial...Very Wonderful and Brave!

    I first heard this story told in one of my college classes. My instructor got a lot of criticism for reading it. SOME felt that it was not a children's book or too harsh for children...but who is criticizing it...children or adults? Children don't think so indepth, like some adults. If we don't include books about real events such as this, then we are doing nothing but sheltering our children, rather than allowing them to learn.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Sad, but thought provoking.

    My granddaughter wanted this book for Christmas. Even though it was the least expensive of all her gifts, it was her favorite. To me it was the saddest, most depressing book I have EVER read. It is a true story, and makes one think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    GREAT BOOK

    This book "Faithful Elephants" by Yukio Tsuchiya features three elephants in a zoo that have to be killed. You will see how these elephants struggle to survive, and see how the war will make people go to extremes to survive.
    This book contains elephants that the government says have to be killed because of the fear of a bomb breaking the cage doors and letting the elephants escape. Now the elephants have to be poisoned but when this procedure fails the trainers start to do whatever it takes to kill the very innocent elephants .Also, see how these brave elephants barely survive. And see people break government orders to protect their beloved pets.
    A major thing that the elephant trainers go through is having to kill the elephants at any means necessary. This remindes me of concentration camps when innocent people were killed for no apparent reason. Just like the elephants. I believe the authers purpose to write Faithful Elephants is so people remember this horrible event in history. This means if people forgot this it could happen again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Great story for all readers of all ages

    Faithful Elephants by Yukio Tsuchiya
    What would you do if you had to kill someone you loved but if you didn't, everyone else would suffer from your choice? In Faithful Elephants, during World War II, some zoo keepers in Japan have to kill three loved elephants.
    One day, Japanese soldiers order a zoo in Tokyo to kill all there animals (incase the zoo gets bombed and all the animals escape), including the three precious elephants John, Tonky and Wanly. Eventually, it was time to kill John, but they fail to poison him. So eventually they are forced to starve John and the other elephants.
    It's moraly hard to kill the three elephants because the zookeepers think of the elephants as family, so tey can't even bare watching there elephants just fade away like a forgotten memory. This reminds me of The Odysey when Odysseuss is warned about passing Scylla, (a six headed beast) and to "let Scylla eat six of his men."
    I think the purpose of Faithful Elephants is to make us think of the bond between animals and humans. It also helped me realize the dilemmas and tragic death World War II caused for everybody. The book also reminds me of my dog and I, but mainly it makes me feel bad for all the animals put down even though it's not thier fault.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    Faithful Elephants=Great book Highly Recommended!

    Faithful Elephants is a novel by Yukio Tsuchiya.This story occured during World WarII, in Japan's Ueno zoo.In this book the zookeepers are faced with a moral dilema. The Japanese army forced the zookeepers to kill all of the animals, so they poisoned the snakes and big cats.Finally it was the elephants' turn.They used many methods to try to kill John, and they eventually had to starve him to death.They did the same to Tonky and Wanly, and they were getting thinner and thinner.A zookeper finally fed them because he couldn't stand the guilt.Do the zookeepers choose to obey the army or do they secretly keep the elephants alive? If I was told to kill my pets even if people could die I couldn't follow through.This reminds me when my dear friend was in a coma.His parents faced a moral dilema of taking him off life support, or keep trying. If he lived he would be severely disabled. This was like in the book, the zookeepers faced a moral dilema of killing the elephants or taking the chance of people dying.The bombings might have broken the cages, which would set the animals loose. If that happened people would most likely die, that's why the army forced them to kill all the animals. I think the author's purpose was to show how bad the War was. It's important because it told a sad tale, and showed what happened during the War. I think that the zookeepers made the wrong choice, because in the end the bombs didn't hit the zoo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    Proceed with caution

    I learned of this book while subbing. I was in a 5th grade classroom to support several special needs students. This book was very depressing. I could see where this book was going before the regular classroom teacher finished with it. Yes, it is a true story. Yes, war can cause suffering, and to more than just people. However, this book is very one-sided. War is tragic, but it is sometimes necessary (ending slavery, stopping genocide, giving people freedom). None of these aspects were addressed. Of course, it wasn't the 'author's purpose', either. IF you wanted to use this book, it should only be used with older students, and I think it should be paired with a book that shows some of the positive things that have happened as a result of armed conflict. I hate the term 'pro-war', because no one, especially those who fight them, likes war. It's just that some of us understand that is is sometimes necessary in order to prevent even greater suffering.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2005

    Completely inappropriate for kids - and everyone else

    This book touts itself as a valuable lesson on the horrors of war but there are many more appropriate ways of broaching this discussion with small children than to bombard them with a dreary, depressing and grotesque tale of animal cruelty and suffering. I don't recommend this book for children OR adults. There are many better books, such as 'The Diary of Anne Frank' that bring home the point of suffering without grisly, needlessly graphic descriptions of animal cruelty that are completely age-INappropriate. Furthermore, war is the fault of stupid adults, not children, so giving them a guilt trip serves no purpose.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2002

    A very important book

    This is a wonderful book that *every child* should definitily read in order to prevent from growing up thinking that war is 'cool', an important message that can be enjoyed both by children and adults alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2001

    Excellent Teaching Tool for Upper Level Students

    I use this book in my class for high school Juniors and Seniors. It truly shows that the cost of war is more than dollars and cents.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2001

    A Deep Touching Story

    After I read this book, I felt that it shouldn't be in the category: Kids. Although it is a picture book, it's a serious story about tragedies that occured because of the war. I really recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2001

    Not Suitable for Elementary School Readers

    This is a story that needs to be told; however, the audience should be adults, not children. It is a very sad to see how the horrors of war affected the zoo animals. It also made me angry that a more humane solution could not be found. This book is not appropriate for elementary aged readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2001

    Non-fiction that Reaches the Reader's Heart

    Although a some adults may find this book inappropriate for children, I feel that with the right preparation and time for discussion, it is an excellent book for children who are eight or older. It is one of the few clear examples of non-fiction that is truly moving. The images and emotions are brought to life through the well-written text. It is a beautiful classic that evokes the reader to feel compassion for other living creatures. Yes, it deals with the devastating effects of a tragic war, but it is the truth. Not all well-written, moving books have a shiny, happy ending. Be sure to read it on your own first. It would be put to even better use in a middle or high school history class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2001

    I Sobbed as I read it

    This book is very difficult to read. I read it because of my connection to Japan. I do not think this book is appropriate for young children. It is very disturbing. It is difficult to understand the decisions that led to the demise of the animals. I recommend that any parent interested in this title go to the library and read the story before purchasing it for their child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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