The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Every once in awhile a book comes along and just blows me out of the water. When I went to Chapters a couple of months ago, I was sitting enjoying a coffee and just browsing the books in the YA section, when I came upon a cut-out promo stand for The Magician's Elephant. The number one thing that made me pick it up was the cover. STUNNING. And then the title, and then I read the blurb inside the cover and immediately bought it. This little book is one of the most extraordinary I have ever read. It is heartbreakingly beautiful, and a simple yet powerful story about love and magic and believing anything can happen.
I cannot sum up the book any better than the inside of the front cover:
What if? Why not? Could it be?
When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her?
The fortuneteller's mysterious answer (An elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that Peter can hardly dare to believe it.
But it is -- all of it --- true.
This book had me crying actual tears at many points, and when I closed its cover for the last time I felt uplifted beyond measure. When I held it out to my husband and gushed, his eyes glazed over as they often do until I said, "It's like The Alchemist for kids!" (which is only true in that it makes you think and it is very parable-like). To that his eyes lit up and he actually focused his ears on what I was saying.
A beautiful extraordinary tale of love, forgiveness and the power of magic and believing in "What if?".
For more information about The Magician's Elephant click here.