Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Candlewick Press 201 pages

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.


12 Blabs:

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

Yeah! I am so glad you loved it too! She is one of my favorites and they always leave me with such a warm feeling.

deborah said...

awesome! And a 5/5! I'll be adding that to my list!

Lisa said...

Hey Michelle! I have never read anything by her before, but will now be reading her others!

And Deborah: hey! I love it when you pop by! And it is DEFINATELY a full 5 star book!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I so loved this book as well :)

Lisa said...

Diane, have you ever read anything else by her? It is so nice to love a book that you had high hopes for, you know what I mean?

Natalie W said...

You have me sooo curious!! I'm going to look for it asap.
Great review!

Jessica said...

Another excellent review! I've been meaning to pick this one up... what am I waiting for?

mudmama said...

Hi Lisa!
I am curious about it now too, sounds great!
BTW, Michele hasn't posted on her blog for a couple of weeks and a few people (including me) have wondered if everything is ok with her-hope so!!
Have a great day and I'll add that book to my list!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, such a glowing review. I'll have to keep it in mind.

I have an award for you, by the way.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I haven't read this book, but, wow, what a ringing endorsement you give it! I'll pass the title along to my older daughter, who reads a lot of YA ... good to know it's not just for kids :)

Aarti said...

I have heard so much about this book!! I must get my hands on it soon.

By the way, hi I'm Aarti :-) I came across your comment on Reader's Respite about loving historical fiction and HAD to check it out!

Nikki @ Bookizzle said...

This book is just precious. I had the best warm and fuzzy feeling right down to my toes when I finished it. :)

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