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Elephant secret by Eric Walters

Elephant secret

by Eric Walters

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
13 and raised on her family's North American elephant sanctuary, Sam can do it all. Drive truck, haul bales of hay, and speak the secret language of elephants. Every member of the herd holds a special place in her heart and Sam is fiercely protective of her over-sized family but it's the pregnant Daisy Mae who is about to turn Sam's world upside-down.
When Daisy Mae's baby is born, Sam and her dad suspect that something just isn't quite right about the baby and they're about to be taken on an adventure of a lifetime. A billionaire genius, top secret science experiment, and Sam's beloved herd come together in a story that is timely, relevant, and entirely believable. Walters offers an endearing story with just the right combination of facts and fiction. Well done! ( )
  RavenShoe | Oct 9, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This one snuck up on me. The first half was very slow going. Being easy to read with solid world building saved it for me. In the latter half it picked up. By the end I was thoroughly invested. ( )
  thebacklistbook | Oct 9, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a free copy through librarything’s early reviewers program in exchange for an honest review — thank you!

What can I say about Eric Walters at this point? I — along with countless others, I’m sure — credit him with my love of reading. I’ve always liked books, for as long as I can remember. But Eric Walters was the first author I saw in person, the person who made me realize that writers could be Canadian, the guy whose books I always gravitated towards when given the choice.

Which is all to say that I loved this book, because OF COURSE I did.

This is classic Eric Walters. Characters with heartfelt and realistic interactions (I love how the relationship with the stepmother plays out!). Lots of interesting facts about the subject. A plot that will keep you interested and turning the pages. And, of course, flat-out good writing.

It’s nice to know that after 100 books, Eric Walters is still consistently awesome. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Oct 4, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book is about Samantha, a 13-year-old girl growing up on an elephant sanctuary run by her father. The storyline follows several threads: Sam's relationship with her father's girlfriend, her very capable handling of the complex social dynamics of the elephant herd, and an arrival of a dangerous elephant with an abused past. The elephant secret of the title comes in the form of a new baby elephant with an unusual twist.

I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. Waters does not talk down to his young readers, and I learned a lot about elephants, the law, and ethics. I was deeply moved by Samantha's deep empathy for her elephants. I was reminded of Jane Goodall talking of her sharing memories with her chimps. Sam's caring for her animals helped her learn to care for her human family.

A very smart, interesting read for the tweens in your life, sure to provoke new ideas about our relationship with animals and science.
  HannahJo | Sep 20, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A wonderful story for the 8 to 12 year old set! If you love elephants, animals, science, the world and environment, and a story about growing up, this book is for you! It is filled with so many fun and informative facts about elephants! I learned a lot! I enjoyed the surprise twist. Who would have thought! The characters are sweet and genuine. Sam is very mature and confident for a young person! I would love to know someone like her.

I definitely recommend this book for the tween in your life. ( )
  Jemrah1 | Sep 11, 2018 |
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I lay on my back on the inflatable raft.
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(from the back of the book) Samantha Gray has one parent (her dad) and a big family: eleven elephants. Living in an elephant sanctuary and raised close to the herd, Sam understands the animals' behavior, interacts with them easily, and has a special relationship with each one. She finds her elephants kind, caring, protective, and much easier to get along with than most people - such as her dad's lawyer girlfriend, Joyce.

With a new arrival at the sanctuary, Sam's world is upended. She knew raising a newborn elephant would be hard, time-consuming work. But she never anticipated the secrets surrounding this baby, which threaten the herd's peaceful existence, the sanctuary's everyday routine, and even Sam and her dad's place among the elephants.
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