Article Title

The Elephant Thief


Cynthia Frazier


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Jane Kerr, Elephant, Juvenile Fiction, England, Scotland, Thief, Pickpocket, Wager, Queen Victoria, Zoo, Menagerie

Document Type

Book Review


Who would have ever thought that ‘Boy’—a filthy street orphan, pickpocket, and thief—would end up becoming an Indian Prince named Dandip? All because of a wager between rival zoo owners, an elaborate scheme was hatched with ‘Boy’ dressed up in a fancy Indian costume riding an elephant named Maharaja. Newspapers started carrying the story and soon, everyone in England knew about the ‘Prince’ and his elephant and lined the streets as the duo trekked 200 miles from Scotland to England. Boy liked having clean clothes and good food to eat, and he was starting to know how to communicate with Maharaja. Soon after the journey beings, things began going wrong, and Boy feels that he is being followed and that Maharaja is in peril. He fears that dangerous people from his past are catching up with him. On top of this, they only have ten days to get to Manchester or all is lost.