The Great American Elephant Chase

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1993 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 193 p. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A lucky blunder frees orphaned Tad from his dreary routine in a grim mining town and allows him to begin a new life on the road, caring for the elephant Khush. When Tad's new boss, goodhearted con man Michael Keenan, is killed in a freak accident, a pair of greedy villains from Tad's hometown are determined to lay claim to the valuable pachyderm. Spurred on equally by his love for Khush and the demands of Keenan's imperious daughter, Cissie, Tad resolves to keep his charge out of the clutches of his old enemies. Together, Tad, Cissie and Khush travel from Pennsylvania to the plains of Nebraska in search of a safe haven. The chase is thrilling, the landscape brilliant and sprawling, the characters thoughtfully drawn; these elements alone provide uncommonly thrilling reading. But this novel offers more than mere adventure; along with rescuing the great elephant, Tad saves something just as important--his sense of self. Thanks to Cross's piercing insight and subtle writing, her novel's message never becomes obvious; but rather is skillfully interwoven throughout this multi-layered work--a truthful exploration of emotional growth and change. Ages 9-12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6A rip-roaring romp from Pittsburgh to Nebraska in 1881, as an orphan boy and a con man's daughter try to keep her elephant hidden from a thieving scoundrel. Comic adventure at its best. (May 1993)
Emily Melton
Set in America in 1881, this is a heartwarming story of courage and perseverance. Fifteen-year-old Tad Hawkins, a lonely, awkward orphan, is thrilled and amazed when showman and huckster Michael Keenan brings an elephant to town. When Keenan is killed in a railway accident, his daughter, Cissie, persuades Tad to help her get to her friend Ketty, in Nebraska--with the elephant. There's just one problem. Tad and Cissie are being pursued by two unsavory characters who claim they bought the elephant from Cissie's father before he died. But Tad and Cissie are determined to outwit the crooks, keep their 2,000-pound friend safe, and make the long and difficult journey west. Beset by obstacles, tired, dirty, hungry, and often overwhelmed, the two youngsters never give up, and after a series of thrilling and sometimes scary adventures, they reach their destination. There's a happy ending for everyone--Tad (who learns that he's strong, tough, and smart), Cissie (who's reunited with her best friend, Ketty), and even the giant pachyderm (who gets to stay with the person who loves him best). "The Great American Elephant Chase" is a wonderful adventure story with plenty of fast-moving action. Charmingly told with humor and warmth, it's never gushy or silly, and it keeps the reader's attention from the first page to the last.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823410163
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1993
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.84 (d)

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