Adam Rapp The Copper Elephant

ISBN 13: 9781886910423

The Copper Elephant

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The Copper Elephant is the riveting story of 11-year-old Whensday, who lives in the Shelf, a toxic wasteland of nonstop poisonous rain ruled by the ruthless Aston Loe and his Syndicate men. Rescued from slave labor to be sold to a childless matron from Top Town, Whensday flees into the Bone Trees, where she meets other renegade "undertwelves"--Oakley Brownhouse and Honeycut. This unlikely trio bands together and learns about love, strength, loss, and survival.

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Review:

Picture this: a world where the acid rain is a constant downpour, where you can't go outside without smearing "safe jam" on your exposed skin, where militaristic brutes storm from dwelling to dwelling demanding paper clips, nails, and anything else the Syndicate deems essential. Welcome to the Shelf, Adam Rapp's disturbing and lasting vision of a post-apocalyptic earth. We don't know exactly how it got this bad, or when, but we do know that no one talks about birthdays or Christmas anymore.

On the Shelf, the miserable are corralled together to meet their fates. Elders are taken away in the Flying Fox and never seen again. The Undertwelves are tattooed with numbers and marched off to the Pits--a worse circle of this inferno, where these Digit Kids are forced to break rocks with splittingpicks until they fall down dead. Thanks to the brave kindness of a coffin builder, 11-year-old Whensday has managed to escape the Pits. She takes refuge for a time helping Tick Burrowman build his bodyboxes, but when she fears he's going to sell her, she runs away to the Bone Trees. There she meets Honeycut and Oakley, two other children who have eluded the Pits, and the three make an effort at raw survival.

Whensday tells this gripping, memorable story with the frankness of a child and in a dialect that reflects the brutal reality of the new world order. In such a place there is no time for proper grammar, and words must be invented for each fresh hell (homes are now mere "life holes," the primary food is "cornslop," and coughed up phlegm is "lungpuddles"). But somehow, amid the horror, Rapp manages to weave impressive beauty and hope. Whensday is a character to fall in love with and root for, who understands "Strength don't always come from muscles and size. Sometimes it comes from that stuff that hides in your spit." Most of all, she helps us appreciate the small things: a bird's nest, a spoon, an elephant made of foil. --Brangien Davis

About the Author:

Adam Rapp is a playwright and author of two previous young adult novels. Missing the Piano was named a Best book for Young Adults as well as a Best Book for Reluctant Readers by the American Library Association. His second novel, The Buffalo Tree, was named a Best Book of 1997 by School Library Journal. His theatrical work has been produced and developed by the New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf Theater Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, and The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. He lives in New York City.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781590786307: The Copper Elephant

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1590786300 ISBN 13:  9781590786307
Publisher: Front Street, 2008
Softcover

9780064472616: The Copper Elephant

Harper..., 2002
Softcover

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