Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I wanted to write about something I was thankful for. I just finished reading CHAINED by fellow Class of 2k12 member, Lynne Kelly, and I am overflowing with thankfulness.
First, because Lynne is such an active and supportive member of the Class of 2k12. (Spoiler Alert-everyone in the Class of 2k12 is a bucket full of awesome-I am so lucky) But Lynne also brings a sense of humor to the group. She has stopped more than one weeping debut author in their tracks, making them to laugh uncontrollably, causing an ill-timed beverage to shoot out of their nose.
Second, CHAINED is magnificent. Absolutely amazing.
The touching story of a boy and an elephant who have a friendship stronger than any lock, shackle, or chain.
Ten-year-old Hastin’s sister has fallen ill, and his family must borrow money to pay for her care in the hospital. To work off the debt, Hastin leaves his village in northern India to work in a faraway jungle as an elephant keeper. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders–will they both survive long enough to escape?
“…a story that unwraps the heart and asks it to be brave, loyal, and above all, kind.”
~ Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Underneath and Keeper.
Coming May 8, 2012 from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux/Margaret Ferguson Books.
Kimberly Sabatini’s Review of CHAINED by Lynne Kelly
If you love Linda Sue Park, then you should grab CHAINED with both hands, as soon as it hits the shelves. First and foremost, I loved 10-year-old Hastin. As a mom, I can only hope to raise boys who embody all that this young man stands for. He is compassionate, never looses his ability to love and finds strength beyond his years when he needs it the most. I can’t wait to own a copy of CHAINED to share with my own boys.
Hastin isn’t the only character that moved me. This is a story of a beautiful friendship between a boy and an elephant. Nandita stole my heart with her playful, sensitive personality. This elephant and young boy have an amazing connection and their relationship will have a lasting impact on me. It doesn’t matter if Kelly is writing about about gentle giants, adults who have made mistakes, people left without choices or boys who rise to their own occasion, she has a talent for making the characters feel real and for making readers feel.
And just to warn you, after you read this book, you are going to want to go out and hug an elephant. Get in line.
Lynne Kelly was born in Galesburg, Illinois, grew up in Houston, lived in some much colder places, then found her way back to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter. For a few years she also taught special education, a good career for someone with excellent organizational and planning skills. Lacking those skills, she quit teaching in 2006 and thankfully has more time for writing. But it was during those teaching years that she worked with some great kids and became interested in writing, so that all worked out.
You can find out more about Lynne Kelly and CHAINED here…