The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

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Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 9-11 category Bat and his closest friend, Muka, are catapulted into a new life of unimaginable terror. Now memories of their village world feel so far away. Will the bond between elephant and child remain strong enough to save them?


The winners of the Leeds Book Awards are chosen by you! Read the books, talk about them with your friends & teachers and decide which one is your favourite. You can vote in your local library or at Voting closes on Friday 25th April and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 20th May.

See below for the entire shortlist.


The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014. 'Throw your heart out in front of you and run to catch it.' That's what the boy's grandmother always said.

When a baby elephant is left orphaned on the African savannah, Bat, a young herdsboy, takes her home and cares for her. But Bat's grandmother knows that Meya cannot stay with them for ever - the call of the wild will always be sounding in her soul. And there are rumours borne on the wind; frightening stories of kidnapping and suffering and war.


Leeds Book Awards 2014

The Battles of Ben Kingdom by Andrew Beasley

Ways to See a Ghost by Emily Diamand

The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

11-14 Shortlist

After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

The Poison Boy by Fletcher Moss

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

The Quietness by Alison Rattle

Browse inside this book


I cannot trumpet this book loudly enough. Scary, funny, romantic, heart-warming; an elephant book you won't forget. -- Michael Morpurgo

Rachel Campbell-Johnston's work is as vivid as it is moving. The Sunday Review

Lyrical, compelling and totally convincing ... a great new children's classic. -- Amanda Craig The Times, Saturday Review

A big and important story...that smoulders in the mind long after the final page. -- Annabel Pitcher Guardian

About the Author

Rachel Campbell-Johnston is the chief art critic and poetry critic for The Times. She studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and has a PhD in modern and contemporary British poetry. Her first book, Mysterious Wisdom: The Life and Work of Samuel Palmer, was published to great acclaim in 2011. Rachel lives in the country with her family and an assortment of animals. The Child's Elephant is her first book for children.

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Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: from 9 to 11


Rachel Campbell-Johnston
More books by Rachel Campbell-Johnston


David Fickling Books an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

2nd May 2013




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