Small as an Elephant

Small as an Elephant

by Jennifer Richard Jacobson


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"A deeply perceptive look at the universal fear of abandonment." — Booklist (starred review)

Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and “spinning” wildly until it’s over. But now she is gone, leaving him all alone on a campsite in Maine. Can he find his way back to Boston before the authorities realize what happened? With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties — and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780763663339
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 04/09/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 69,493
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 790L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of several books for children and young adult readers, including the Andy Shane early chapter books, illustrated by Abby Carter. She lives in Cumberland, Maine.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"I believe in Jack and his ability to understand his mother in shades of gray. I believe in his ability to be fiercely independent: to try and try and try . . . and at the same time to recognize that he needs others. That others are right there, waiting to catch him."
- Jennifer Richard Jacobson — Quote

Customer Reviews

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Small as an Elephant 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a sad book about a boy whose mother left him at a campground because of an argument they had. The boy sets out to find his mother elephant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so great!!! Totally recomended!!! It reminded me so much of the book the dogs of winter. Both are great books and anybody should read them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I justbstarted this book and i cannot put it down. I tell myself im gonna read a few pages and end up reading fifty!! I highly reccomend this book! :)
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Eleven-year-old Jack is left alone in a tent in Acadia National Park, Maine by his mother, who struggles with mental health issues. For years, Jack has protected her, not wanting to be turned over to state authorities and then to his grandmother. He realizes this is yet another time when his mother is "spinning" and vows to either find her or make his way home to Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts. He has been fascinated with elephants for years; he steals a small plastic elephant which reminds him of the stories and facts his mother has told him about the creatures. A live elephant in Maine figures into the story as well. The author writes in such a way that the reader will be afraid for Jack, afraid of the dangers of traveling by himself, afraid of being taken from his mother again, afraid that he and his mother might go to jail. We root for Jack over and over, to find his mom and the elephant, to not get caught by the police, to have his broken finger heal. This is a delightful book which might serve as a springboard to other books about teens on their own (sometimes called survival stories), such as books by Will Hobbs and Gary Paulsen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very fun-filled book that you will never know what will happen next. It is a daring adventure of a boy just trying to find his mom when she ran away while camping!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book, and to be honest, it was amazing! It is about an 11-year-old boy named Jack who is obsessed with elephants. Jack and his mom have traveled all the way up to Maine from their hometown in Massachusetts. When Jack wakes up in his tent the next morning, all traces of his mom are gone. Her car is gone, her tent is gone, the pots she left on the picnic table are gone. Now Jack must try to find his mother, while hiding from the police who are frantically looking for him. I found this book appropiate for teenagers, since I am one myself. I learned that when your parent goes missing, you can't start wandering and not tell and adult, unless you would like to work on your survival skills (haha). I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an adventure book, along with some elephant facts:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the favorites at my school and i can hardly get my hands on it! Good thing i can just buy it!!,!
ken1952 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another amazing middle reader novel that deserves tons of praise. Jack's journey is filled with heartbreak, but the people he meets along the way give him so very much. Jennifer Richard Jacobson's use of actual places in Maine let me do my own "illustrated" tour of Jack's journey on the Internet. Hats off to Left Bank Books in Searsport, ME for becoming the scene of one of Jack's important encounters. What a beautifully written book!
ref27 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Compelling and finely detailed but exhausting. The elephant obsession generally works, but feels a little random at times. Jack's shifting morality, as well as his attempts to rationalize both his own and his mother's behaviors feel desperate and true. I like the idea of an essentially suburban survival story, though his facility with locating hiding places is alarming.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story, but I'm not convinced that students would like it. Jack wakes up on his first day of a three day camping trip with his mother, and he is alone; she has taken the car, her own tent, the food, everything and left him. The remainder of the book is him deciding what to do, revealing bits of flashbacks to her other "spinning" times, looking for her, and finally ending up with someone who will keep him safe. It's eloquently written, but I don't think kids would find it interesting. It's also sad, since his mom's mental illness is what makes her leave him in the first place. I would not recommend this to most students.
libsue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eleven year old Jack has been left alone at a campsite in Maine by his mother. Determined to find her, and keep DSS at bay, he sets off on a journey. Along the way he discovers things that he had forgotten, an inner strength that he didn't know he had, and an ever widening group of people that unbeknownst to him want him to come home safely. It is so hard to find books that will interest boys of this age that don't have monsters, aliens, etc. I truly hope that Small as an Elephant finds them. This book is a gem.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If for no other reason, you must read Small as an Elephant because every chapter starts off with a fact or myth about elephants. That¿s reason enough. But there is another reason: ten-year-old Jack Martel has an elephant sized adventure. Jack and his mother are taking a three day camping vacation in Maine right before school starts in the fall. However, when Jack wakes up after the first night, his mother is nowhere to be found. Her tent is gone. Her car is gone. She is gone. No notes, messages or no nothing.At first Jack thinks she went to get food or to find the ocean. But, inside he knows better, because she has run off before. When she doesn¿t return after the first day, Jack gets nervous. He¿s afraid to tell anyone because he doesn¿t want the Department of Social Services to come and take him away from his mother. The first day isn¿t too bad. He befriends another ten year old, Aiden, and Jack joins Aiden¿s family on a day trip. He lies and says his mother isn¿t feeling well. But, when Aiden¿s mother says she¿ll stop by and bring some soup, Jack knows it¿s time to pack up and leave. He begins searching for his mother, then decides to head home to Boston and finally decides on the way to visit Lydia, the only elephant in Maine.Jack has adventure after adventure, meeting people but not knowing who to trust. To find out where Jack ends up, you need to read Small as an Elephant. The author, Jennifer Richard Jacobson knows how to write an adventure story.
delphica on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a little better than three stars, but certainly not four.Jack, an 11 year old boy, finds himself unexpectedly alone while on a vacation to Maine, and then has to figure out what he is going to do to reunite himself with his mother.One of my favorite things about this book was mentioned in the author's note - she went to Maine and visited all the places the character would have gone, and I felt like this really came through in the book. The geography of the story was completely real and believable. I liked the story overall, I liked the characters and found them sympathetic. I'm not quite sure why this didn't rise (much) above three stars for me ... in some ways I was expecting more information on certain plot points that eventually went ... nowhere in particular. In terms of plot momentum, I felt like nothing changed organically. If Jack changed his plans, or changed his mind about something, it was usually at random and not convincingly as a reaction to an actual impetus.I have to add that I was predisposed to like this book because not only do I like elephants, I have a special obsession with tiny elephants. Pretty much the best thing that could happen in life, ever, would be if we could genetically engineer elephants to make them the size of cats. This all stems from one of E. Nesbit's dragon stories, where it is casually mentioned that elephants are small like house pets and guinea pigs are large like, well, like elephants. Aside from the general excellence of the concept of small elephants, what especially intrigued me was how this worked as a brief, almost throwaway concept that establishes the story in a similar, but slightly different, world than ours. There's also a small mammoth in the L'Engle book about the flood, which is nice and all, but this is one of my weird things that is very specific about elephants; a mammoth is not the same.Grade: B-Recommended: To people who like YA and elephants (I was a little worried it was going to get tiresome, but it turned out to be a cute theme).
lindamamak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack left by his mother at a camp site in Maine seaches for her while encountering various characters on his quest to see the only elepant in Maine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kalyb More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome, that is why i gave it five stars. Basiccally its about a boy jack who goes on a camping trip with his mom in Maine, and it was all good until the second day in which Jacks mom left him with nothing but his tent, little spending money and a little plastic toy elephant to keep him company. It is now up to Jack to find his mom through the cities and the only way he can make money for food and water is by recycling bottles for only five cents each. Also he sleeps in the wood which is a danger for him because one night a raccoon came and stole his backpack. But anyway I loved this book but I would recommend it only for kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book. I cried at the end. Such a great author. I recommend this for ages 10+. This is a MUST read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book! Its so touching if you want an fast-paced, sweet novel pick this book up and read it right now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Middle of this book o m g this book is so good
Zadunajsky More than 1 year ago
I found the book interesting. The boys love for an elephant and also wanting to find his mom kept me wanting to read to the end. It's great young adult book; one I would recommend to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how you can just picture ot in ypur mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stuff is good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kool book