About the Author:
Barbara Smucker was one of Canada’s best-known and best-loved authors of fiction for children and young adults. Throughout her career, she was profoundly affected by civil rights issues, which informed works such as Days of Terror, White Mist, and Underground to Canada. She won multiple awards for her work, including the Vicky Metcalf Award, the Canada Council Children’s Literature Prize, and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. She passed away in 2003.
From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-6-- Both a zoo and a circus story, this novel traces the life of the famous African elephant from his imagined early years and arrival at the London Zoo in 1865, to his death 20 years later in a train accident while with Barnum's circus in Canada. Smucker telescopes the chronology while retaining the factual events, relaying them through the elephant's perceptions and that of Tod, a fictional ten-year-old sweeper who gets work helping care for Jumbo while aspiring to become a clown. Tod stows away to America, and is allowed to continue his job while training in the circus. The book conveys the public's reception of Jumbo and a good sense of circus life, and while the subplot leans towards the sentimental, it reflects the era and exists to support what is primarily Jumbo's biography. Mathieson's The True Story of Jumbo the Elephant (Coward, 1963; o.p.) is illustrated, and Avery's The Elephant War (Dell, 1988) is a lively account of a fictitious protest of Jumbo's sale. --Ruth M. McConnell, San Antonio Public Library
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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