Blog Tour: The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook

The girl who stole an elephant

It’s my turn on the Blog Tour today, read through my review to the end to find today’s hidden letter for a chance to win a Prize pack!

Nizrana Farook has made The Girl Who Stole An Elephant an exhilarating adventure which feels like a tale Scheherazade herself would be proud of; with its daring escapes, moonlit wanderings and encounters with jungle bandits the narrative grows a warm exhilarating feeling just like the best kind of storytelling.

The girl who stole an elephant Nizrana Farook

Chaya is frustrated at the growing problems in her village as the King grows richer, more powerful and crueller so much that she steals from the rich with the Robin Hood-like intention to help her community, but goes one step too far when she steals the Queen’s jewellery from the palace.

Thanks to this act of recklessness the King order her village is interrogated demanding the return of the jewels; her best friend Neelan gets the blame and is hauled away. Reluctantly teaming up with the adventure hungry not-so-perfect rich girl Nour, they launch a daring rescue attempt which culminates in stealing a royal elephant and dash into the jungle where whilst on the run Chaya learns more about herself, the society she lives in and her companions and nothing will ever be the same again.

The girl who stole an elephant Nizrana Farook Waterstones edition

What I particularly loved about The Girl Who Stole An Elephant is how Nizrana has created incredibly relatable children with believable childish thoughts, flaws and misunderstandings that they overcome across the course of the tale. It’s obviously part of Middle grade for things to be overcome, but it is a skilled hand and a gift that picks out with incredible accuracy whilst gently exploring the emotional and behavioural ways children respond to things. Nizrana not only shines at achieving this with our three but especially so with Chaya.

At the beginning Chaya, whilst a plucky and well meaning child, like anyone has her flaws which I so respect Nizrana for resisting the temptation to write an idealistic character, and instead exploring a relatable realistic child capable of wonderful things.

She had to pull herself together. There was no time to waste. She was the one who’d got Neel into this and it was up to her to fix things

Chaya is fiercely brave, but she is also arrogant and proud with Neelan when he chides her for the Robin Hood style heroics and then devastated when she sees the consequences of her actions. Furthermore, whilst not nice to see, her petty attitude to girlish naive Nour is realistic and she indeed thinks very little of Nour for a good part of the book until she begins to see both Nour and herself in different ways and begins to grow in her thinking.

Throughout, from the shame of seeing her village interrogated, to seeing Nour to be more complex; more vulnerable and yet more courage than she expected we see Chaya’s rigidity of mindset bending and softening with time and experiencing things that not only challenge her world view and view of herself but bring parts crashing down. And yet, Chaya maintains the resilience to bounce back, adapt and make changes for the better both in her emotions and actions. A wonderful emotional journey for children to resonate and perhaps learn with.

And then in the distance, through a blur of pain, Chaya saw her getaway vehicle.

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant is infused with this sense of wonder that leaves you breathless wanting to know how the children will rise to each challenge and I admire how although we know it is a middle grade novel and the most terrible harm doesn’t usually occur yet of course there are ones where it does and Nizrana subtly plays upon the existence of those shockers and the reader feels true dread at times, by the end I was so swept up in the characters my grown up senses left me and I was genuinely concerned in the most wonderful way!!

That is the mark of excellent writing, that takes you on adventures, thrills and inspires wonder in the eyes and hearts of children and also is so immersive it makes adult readers CARE and be transported back into the age of believing.

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant is a heady rich adventure teetering in that perfect way between historical and imagined full of heart and grit and strong inspiring children. An enthralling adventure I hope charges into hearts and minds everywhere!

Thank you for reading!

Make sure you check out my fellow bloggers on the tour this week!

Want to win an AMAZING The Girl Who Stole an Elephant prize pack? Follow the blog tour this week to find 7 hidden letters that create our MYSTERY word – then DM the word to @NosyCrowBooks for your chance to win!

The girl who stole an elephant competition letter- T
The girl who stole an elephant blog tour banner

The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook is published by Nosy Crow.

Thank you so much to Nosy Crow for my review copy and inviting me on the blog tour.

6 thoughts on “Blog Tour: The Girl Who Stole An Elephant by Nizrana Farook

  1. Congratulations on the Blog Tour. A wonderful review – I’ll definitely try to get to this one in the next couple of weeks as it sounds like a great adventure! And I think my class will love it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This is definitely one with lots of potential for activities and discussion including a mission impossible like theft attempt (and that’s NOT at the palace!)

      Liked by 1 person

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