Summary: This true story is set in the South African game reserve Thula Thula, which is home to many species from snakes to rhinos. When the owner, Lawrence Anthony, receives a phone call asking him to take in a herd of rogue elephants, he has no choice but to accept. Otherwise they will be put down. Taking care of them and helping them to adjust to their new home brings many difficulties. After attempted (and successful) escapes, aggressive confrontations, and wrecking havoc in general, the herd starts to form a bond with Lawrence that helps them to survive.
Recommendation: This wonderful non-fiction book is a great read for audiences ready to learn about some of the sadder aspects of endangered species in real life. Even though there are a lot of happy moments (like breakthroughs with troubled elephants and other happy elephant things), I have to warn you that there are some sorrowful passages. The book also contains some bad words, but it’s mostly its sad aspects that place it beyond the reach of more sensitive readers. On the other hand, I loved reading this book! As a huge elephant obsessor (is that a thing?), I particularly enjoyed reading about the elephants’ personalities and how they acted together as a herd. Highly recommendable!
Favorite Passage: “I strode over to the mirror and saw exactly what she meant. I was covered in pachyderm slime. I must have had a half a pint of mucous from Nana’s trunk spread all over me.”