December 14, 2009

The Magician's Elephant

By Kate DiCamillo
Rating: 3 3/4 stars

Ten year old Peter lives with his half-crazy, ex-soldier guardian after the death of his parents and baby sister. One day, implusively, Peter spends a coin meant for food on a fortuneteller who tells him that his sister is alive and that an elephant will lead him to her. For the first time, Peter begins to question whether or not his guardian has told the truth about the death of the baby. Then, unbelievably, he hears about how a magician has performed an astounding feat, and made an elephant appear from thin air. When Peter hears of the elephant, he must see her, for won't she lead him to his sister? Does he dare believe such a crazy thing? It is Peter's daring to believe in the fortuneteller's words that sets rolling a course of events that will indeed, make that fortune come true and the dark, weary town of Baltese seem a little bit brighter for more than one person. While there are no surprises, this story reads much like a play, and readers will delight in the many unique characters found within.