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A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk
By

Rating
2011 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Text NomineeIndependent Publisher Book Award Silver Medalist, 20112011 Skipping Stones Honor Award winnerOn the 2011 USBBY Outstanding International Books honor listAnn Conner Brimer Award for Children's Literature finalist, 20112011 Snow Willow Award nomineeA 2012 "Woozles' Battle of the Books" Elementary List TitleA 2012 "Woozles' Battle of the Books" Teen List TitleWhen civil war strikes Jacob Deng's Southern Sudanese village, seven-year-old Jacob embarks on a seemingly endless journey that tests his courage and determination. His wise mama tells him that he must one day go to school to seek answers and help carve a better future for his people. Wadeng is a Dinka word meaning "look to the future, it will be better; follow your dreams," and it, along with his precious "Mama stone," becomes Jacob's talisman of hope, helping him remain strong on his seven-year search for a place of refuge. Jacob and his young friends are confronted with war, starvation, dehydration, raging rivers, crocodile and lion attacks, and the evil Majok - the constant thorn in Jacob's side - as they struggle to survive on their own. As the boys work and grow together as a family, surviving in harsh conditions, against the odds, Jacob's boyhood desire to become a soldier wanes. Gradually, he comes to the realization that fighting doesn't improve anything and begins to embrace his mother's belief in education as the road to peace and stability. Inspired by the real life experiences of a Lost Boy of Sudan, this novel is about an extraordinary journey of courage, perseverance, and hope.
Product Details

About the Author

Jan Coates is a Red Deer Press author.

Reviews

"Inspired by Jacob Deng's true story, Coates writes vividly and poetically, establishing a clear historical context for her inspirational tale." -- Kirkus starred review"Young readers will find admirable qualities in Jacob, as he perseveres through months of thirst, hunger, bloody wounds wrapped in leaves, walking many miles from grasslands through blistering sand, and escaping ravenous crocodiles while crossing rivers to reach safety. The author includes interviews and a glossary that further explain how the story came to be written. This book puts into perspective the peace and educational opportunities that readers enjoy."-- Foreword Magazine "Teens will be moved by the unsparing survival story and the climax, when Jacob learns to read."-- Booklist "A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk is an incredible story. . . As a compelling story of the lives of war-affected children, it certainly has a place in middle-school. Highly Recommended."-- CM Magazine "An important and well-written story. Jan Coates takes the reader deep into the lives of children dealing with the uproar of war and terror - a strong reminder that the world needs to do better."-- Deborah Ellis"Jan Coates has succeeded wonderfully with A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk. She gives the reader an uncomfortably vivid sense of what it must be like to lose one's home and family, to wander aimlessly through a bleak and blasted landscape, in constant danger of starving or being shot. Such desperate circumstances could have led her young protagonist, Jacob, to become bitter, to resort to violence himself. And, working with such material, Coates could have written a very dark and despairing sort of book. But both the author and her characters rise above the situation and find in it an unexpected wealth of humour and humanity and hope."-- Gary L. Blackwood, author of The Shakespeare Stealer, The Great Race, The Just-So Woman, and Second Sight -Inspired by Jacob Deng's true story, Coates writes vividly and poetically, establishing a clear historical context for her inspirational tale.- -- Kirkus starred review-Young readers will find admirable qualities in Jacob, as he perseveres through months of thirst, hunger, bloody wounds wrapped in leaves, walking many miles from grasslands through blistering sand, and escaping ravenous crocodiles while crossing rivers to reach safety. The author includes interviews and a glossary that further explain how the story came to be written. This book puts into perspective the peace and educational opportunities that readers enjoy.--- Foreword Magazine -Teens will be moved by the unsparing survival story and the climax, when Jacob learns to read.--- Booklist -A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk is an incredible story. . . As a compelling story of the lives of war-affected children, it certainly has a place in middle-school. Highly Recommended.--- CM Magazine -An important and well-written story. Jan Coates takes the reader deep into the lives of children dealing with the uproar of war and terror - a strong reminder that the world needs to do better.--- Deborah Ellis-Jan Coates has succeeded wonderfully with A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk. She gives the reader an uncomfortably vivid sense of what it must be like to lose one's home and family, to wander aimlessly through a bleak and blasted landscape, in constant danger of starving or being shot. Such desperate circumstances could have led her young protagonist, Jacob, to become bitter, to resort to violence himself. And, working with such material, Coates could have written a very dark and despairing sort of book. But both the author and her characters rise above the situation and find in it an unexpected wealth of humour and humanity and hope.--- Gary L. Blackwood, author of The Shakespeare Stealer, The Great Race, The Just-So Woman, and Second Sight Jacob Deng was 7 years old when the northern militia invaded and destroyed his village in Southern Sudan, sending Jacob and thousands of other boys on an exodus to Ethiopia. The never-ending chain of boys followed the rising sun to safety, braving lion and crocodile attacks, mosquitoes and malaria, poisonous snakes, scorpions, gunfire and bombs. After three years in Pinyudo Refugee Camp, the refugees were chased out of Ethiopia and walked on to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where Jacob began to sense his place in the world as a storyteller, translator and writer. Inspired by Jacob s true story, Coates writes vividly and poetically, establishing a clear historical context for her inspirational tale. One sketchy map is included, but a series of good maps would have helped young readers better visualize Jacob s journey. A good match with Linda Sue Park s ""A Long Walk to Water"" (2010) and Mary Williams picture book ""Brothers in Hope"," illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (2005). From the beginning, Jacob Deng embodied the spirit of Wadeng, the faith that tomorrow will be better, and by the end of the tale, Jacob as storyteller and writer is poised to enter a wider world, where there are as many books in the world as there are stars in the African sky. ""(Historical fiction. 12 & up)""""-""Kirkus" "Inspired by Jacob Deng's true story, Coates writes vividly and poetically, establishing a clear historical context for her inspirational tale." -- "Kirkus" starred review"Young readers will find admirable qualities in Jacob, as he perseveres through months of thirst, hunger, bloody wounds wrapped in leaves, walking many miles from grasslands through blistering sand, and escaping ravenous crocodiles while crossing rivers to reach safety. The author includes interviews and a glossary that further explain how the story came to be written. This book puts into perspective the peace and educational opportunities that readers enjoy."-- "Foreword Magazine" "Teens will be moved by the unsparing survival story and the climax, when Jacob learns to read."-- "Booklist" ""A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk" is an incredible story. . . As a compelling story of the lives of war-affected children, it certainly has a place in middle-school. Highly Recommended."-- "CM Magazine" "An important and well-written story. Jan Coates takes the reader deep into the lives of children dealing with the uproar of war and terror - a strong reminder that the world needs to do better."-- "Deborah Ellis""Jan Coates has succeeded wonderfully with "A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk." She gives the reader an uncomfortably vivid sense of what it must be like to lose one's home and family, to wander aimlessly through a bleak and blasted landscape, in constant danger of starving or being shot. Such desperate circumstances could have led her young protagonist, Jacob, to become bitter, to resort to violence himself. And, working with such material, Coates could have written a very dark and despairing sort of book. But both the author and her characters rise above the situation and find in it an unexpected wealth of humour and humanity and hope."-- "Gary L. Blackwood," author of "The Shakespeare Stealer, The Great Race, The Just-So Woman," and "Second Sight"

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