Most works of literature are comprised of the same elements: paper and ink. Some works are able to take on a degree of vibrancy that allows readers to immerse themselves onto the pages that serve as portals to other worlds. However, there are who few authors that wield the words to speak directly to the spirit. After reading A Circle of Elephants, I can write without any reservation that Eric Dinerstein is one of those outstanding individuals.
A Circle of Elephants is the sequel to What Elephants Know, however both these works read just fine as stand alone novels. A Circle of Elephants chronicles Nandu’s inspirational story in the heart of Nepal and the importance of being in unison with our natural environment. This book champions Dinerstein’s devotion to conservation in addition to reflecting his own experiences in Nepal and translating them into a fictionalized account.
From the title to the sound of an elephants trumpet, readers will find themselves completely mesmerized by this magnificently haunting work; every element in this book creates a symbolic symphony. This is a must read for those who enjoyed works such as A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, or Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo. These are important works that surround you much like a circle of elephants that serve as a perpetual barrier of knowledge and wisdom that you forever carry with you.
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About the Book
A Circle of Elephants
Author: Eric Dinerstein
January 22, 2019
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD
From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children's Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.
Thirteen-year-old Nandu lives in the newly established Royal Elephant Breeding Center on the edge of the jungle. Here, the King's elephants are to be raised under the protective watch of the stable. Nandu-along with his adoptive father Subba-sahib, his mentors, friends, and the rest of the elephant drivers-is tested by man and nature as earthquakes, drought, wild herds, and rumors of poachers threaten the Center.
When Nandu's world is thrown into turmoil, so, too, is the world of Hira Prasad, the Center's powerful bull elephant. An unbreakable bond of brotherhood drives Nandu and Hira Prasad together as they struggle to maintain the delicate natural order of life in the Borderlands.
Dinerstein's poetic prose and scientific expertise come together in this breathtaking tale that transports the reader to the center of dangerous conflicts and heartbreaking friendships.
About the Author
Eric Dinerstein is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at RESOLVE. Previously, he was Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. His areas of specialty include tropical mammals, large mammal biology, biogeography, bats, rhinos, seed dispersal and community ecology. With the World Wildlife Fund, he led many of the organization's most important scientific projects, including the Global 200 Ecoregions, examples of which form the basis of his book Tigerland and Other Unintended Desitnations. Dinerstein is also the author of The Kingdom of Rarities, The Return of Unicorns: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and What Elephants Know: A Novel, among other articles and publications.
He attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University, and did his post-graduate studies at the University of Washington (Organization of Tropical Studies) and the National Zoological Park's Conservation and Research Center.
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3 winners will win a finished copy of
A Circle of Elephants
Chapter 1: Excerpt
Hira Prashad pushed me into the grassland. I was so confused, I failed to notice the dead silence—no peacocks, wild jungle fowl, or hornbills calling. Only seconds ago they had all been wailing. A nearby herd of spotted deer, over a hundred of them, stopped barking and stood at attention. At first, I thought they were watching the lone wild dog, the dhole, that I saw darting through the clearing. But the deer seemed focused on something else. Hira Prashad sensed it, too. He banged his trunk on the ground and let out a screech I had never heard from an elephant.
“Hira Prashad?!” I yelled. “What do you know that you are not telling me?”
Just as I spoke, every tree around us started to shake. My head nodded up and down, and my arms wiggled left and right. I moved toward my elephant but lost my balance as the earth swayed beneath my feet. I stumbled and fell. Hira Prashad lifted me up and pulled me farther into the grassland. I heard a loud ripping as the place where I had been standing, the entire cliff’s edge, collapsed into the river. Two trees bent over and fell, tearing the ground with their huge roots as they landed. The entire jungle trembled. More of the cliff sheared off and crashed into the river.
Hira Prashad curled his trunk around me and held me to his leg, just as Devi Kali did when I was small. I pressed my face into his rough warm skin, praying to the Goddess of the Forest, the one we call Ban Devi. I pleaded with her to make it end. Instead, another great silk cotton tree went crashing down over the edge. The jungle was caving in around us and no one could stop it.