Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
The Elephant in the Room (Rocky Pond Books, 2021) by Holly Goldberg Sloan is much more than an immigrant story or a story about autism or even a story about winning the lottery. Plus a real elephant. Told in multiple points of view, this story is a compelling read.
Sila was born in Oregon but her parents are Turkish citizens and something was wrong with her mother’s paperwork so after 15 years in America, her mother has to go back to Turkey. And it’s Sila’s fault. Living without her mother for the last eight months is the hardest thing Sila has ever known. Then she and her dad meet Gio, who won the lottery. And the three of them meet Veda, a circus elephant, whom Gio buys because of Sila. When Sila is assigned to be a partner to Mateo, she surprises herself by inviting him to meet Veda. Who knew this series of events would give hope to everyone involved.
Read about Holly here and check out her other books here.
If you’ve read the book Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, and read John Grisham, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I describe Marcelo in the Real World (March 2009, Arthur A. Levine Books) as the two meeting. You’ll know you’re getting an inside look at a unique main character crossed with the legal world. And you’ll know you’re getting quality writing.
Okay, so if you haven’t read either, you probably need more info. This book takes you on a journey from Marcelo’s protected world of his special school out into the real world of his father’s law firm. You get a view of Marcelo right from page one with these opening lines that Francisco X. Stork wrote:
“Marcelo, are you ready?”
I lift up my thumb. It means that I am ready.
Marcelo sees the world differently than most. He has his own internal music. He refers to himself in the 3rd person. He doesn’t quite get what many in the “real” world get. But he definitely gets the important things in life. I don’t want to spoil the story with specifics, but there’s jealousy, love, betrayal, dishonesty, understanding. I like the book a lot!
This is the 3rd book written by Francisco X. Stork. Read about his other books on his website. You can also read his bio and his journal there.