Dindy and the Elephant by Elizabeth Laird
  

Dindy and the Elephant

Written by Elizabeth Laird

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Dindy’s way of life is about to change for ever. She’s grown up on a tea plantation in Kerala but independence is coming, and the British, including Dindy’s family, are getting ready to leave India. Frightened at the prospect, Dindy takes her little brother out for an adventure, one that will put them both in real danger, and reveal all sorts of truths and secrets about the lives they have been living. Elizabeth Laird describes colonial life very well indeed, and Dindy is a real and sympathetic character. A beautifully written and ultimately uplifting story about a fascinating period of history. ~ Andrea Reece

Synopsis

Dindy and the Elephant by Elizabeth Laird

Bored with her little brother Pog's childish games, Dindy decides that she's finally grown-up enough for a real adventure. While her mother is sleeping and the servants are busy, she takes Pog deep into the tea gardens, a place they are never supposed to go alone. Terrified by a wild animals and snubbed by the local children, Dindy starts to realize how little she really knows about India, even though it's the only place she's ever called home. But little does she know her life is about to be turned upside down when her mother is taken ill and her father tells her they are leaving India, for good.

Dindy and the Elephant is a wonderful portrait of a young British child coming to terms with leaving her beloved childhood home, while at the same time realizing that many of the things she has been raised to believe are wrong.

About the Author

Elizabeth Laird

Elizabeth Laird was born in New Zealand of Scottish parents. She trained as an English language teacher, and her first job was in Addis Ababa. She has always retained a strong interest in Ethiopia, and his written several books set there, including CILIP Carnegie Medal shortlisted The Fastest Boy in the World. Later, while she was working in London, she was invited by the British Council to teach a summer school in India. The flight from Bombay to Bhopal was bumpy, and she was horribly airsick. The man in the next seat looked after her with great kindness. His name was David McDowall, and he made a deep impression on her. They married a year later. That was forty-two years ago, and they’ve been looking after each other ever since.

David was working in Iraq for the British Council at the time of their marriage, so that’s where they started their married life. They travelled widely, down to the Marshes and up into Kurdistan, where Elizabeth would later set Kiss the Dust. After a stint in London, David started working for the United Nations. They moved to Beirut, along with their first son. A fierce civil war was in progress, which formed the backdrop for her novel Oranges in No Man’s Land. After a year, the situation became too dangerous, and they were evacuated to Vienna, where their second son was born.

Returning to London, they decided to try to earn their living as writers, and took in bed and breakfast for a while to make ends meet. When the children were old enough, Elizabeth began to travel again. She returned many times to Ethiopia, but also visited Palestine, running workshops for writers in Gaza and the West Bank, and visiting several refugee camps. These experiences inspired A Little Piece of Ground. Indignation at the invasion of Iraq sparked Crusade, a historical novel set during a previous disastrous attempt to conquer a Middle Eastern country a thousand years earlier.

The plight of refugees as a result of the Syrian war deeply affected Elizabeth. She was invited by the Norwegian Refugee Council to run writers’ workshops in two Syrian refugee camps just across the border into Jordan. Spending time in Amman, and meeting other refugee families, she put those voices and experiences together into Welcome to Nowhere.

Inspired often by her travels, Elizabeth has also written novels set in the UK, and several historical novels as well. She has won the Children’s Book Award, been shortlisted six times for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, as well as every other major children’s book award.

Photo: © Anne Mortensen

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Book Info

Format

Hardback
192 pages
Interest Age: From 7

Author

Elizabeth Laird
More books by Elizabeth Laird

Author's Website

www.elizabethlaird.co.uk/

Publisher

Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

4th June 2015

ISBN

9781447286042

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