The Magician's Elephant
The Magician's Elephant

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Annotation: When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.
Catalog Number: #109496
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition Date: 2015
Illustrator: Tanaka, Yoko,
Pages: 201 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-7636-8088-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-90726-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-7636-8088-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-90726-3
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2009007359
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
Reviewing Agencies:
Starred Review ALA Booklist
School Library Journal Starred Review
ALA Notable Book For Children
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
Voice of Youth Advocates
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's High School Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
All Formats: Search
Word Count: 23,335
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.0 / points: 4.0 / quiz: 133242 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q47880
Lexile: 730L
Guided Reading Level: U
Peter stood in the small patch of light making its sullen way through the open flap of the tent. He let the fortuneteller take his hand. She examined it closely, moving her eyes back and forth and back and forth, as if there a whole host of very small words inscribed there, an entire book about Peter Augustus Duchene composed atop his palm.

"Huh," she said at last. She dropped his hand and squinted up at his face. "But, of course, you are just a boy."

"I am ten years old," said Peter. He took the hat from his head and stood as straight and tall as he was able. "And I am training to become a soldier, brave and true. But it does not matter how old I am. You took the florit, so now you must give me my answer."

"A soldier brave and true?" said the fortuneteller. She laughed and spat on the ground. "Very well, soldier brave and true, if you say it is so, then it is so. Ask me your question."

Peter felt a small stab of fear. What if after all this time he could not bear the truth? What if he did not really want to know?

"Speak," said the fortuneteller. "Ask."

"My parents," said Peter.

"That is your question?" said the fortuneteller. "They are dead."

Peter's hands trembled. "That is not my question," he said. "I know that already. You must tell me something that I do not know. You must tell me of another — you must tell me . . ."

The fortuneteller narrowed her eyes. "Ah," she said. "Her? Your sister? That is your question? Very well. She lives."

Peter's heart seized upon the words. She lives. She lives!

"No, please," said Peter. He closed his eyes. He concentrated. "If she lives, then I must find her, so my question is, how I do I make my way there, to where she is?"

He kept his eyes closed; he waited.

"The elephant," said the fortuneteller.

"What?" he said. He opened his eyes, certain that he had misunderstood.

"You must follow the elephant," said the fortuneteller, "she will lead you there."

A classic tale by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, America's beloved storyteller

When a fortuneteller's tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The fortuneteller's mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true. With atmospheric illustrations by fine artist Yoko Tanaka, here is a dreamlike and captivating tale that could only be narrated by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. In this timeless fable, she evokes the largest of themes — hope and belonging, desire and compassion — with the lightness of a magician’s touch.
With dreamlike illustrations and a new cover by Yoko Tanaka.


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