Elephant company : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II

From Andrea Kalinowski

Author: Vicki Croke

Title: Elephant company : the inspiring story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II

I have found quite frequently, in my reading life, one book leads to another interconnected book. I recently finished reading Elephant Company: the inspring true story of an unlikely hero and the animals who helped him save lives in World War II by Vicki Constantine Croke, and, of course, the author mentioned various other books. Some of the books touted were authored by Vicki Croke herself and some were used to further her understanding of the animals about whom Vicki was talking.

Elephant Company was an enlightening and heroic read. Jim “Billy” Williams was an adventuresome soul and the advertisement for a teak forester called to that aspect of his soul. Through his teak forestry work, Billy came to recognize and appreciate the greatness and intelligence of the elephants employed by the teak company. Elephant Bill, as he came to be known in the teak forests of Burma, was sought out and trusted by the elephants to treat their ills. Elephant Bill, through his interactions with the elephants, learned how to command men through respect and not fear. Elephant Company spoke of the mutual bond that can form between human and animal if both sides respect each other. It was this bond which enabled Elephant Bill, the elephants and their handlers, to assist others in fleeing the Japanese soldiers entering Burma. I simply could not put the book aside until the last page had been turned.

Fatal enquiry

From Rosemarie Jerome

Author:  Will Thomas

Title:  Fatal enquiry

Private Agent Cyrus Barker is framed for murder and there is a reward for his capture.  With no funds, no solid leads in the case and everyone after him , he is forced to hide in the East End of Victorian London.  His assistant, Thomas Llewelyn,  must find the evidence to prove that Barker is innocent but the culprit is after him at every turn.  This sixth book in the series is a departure from the usual;  it is Llewelyn’s case with Barker lurking in the shadows.  I enjoyed the book but I missed the interaction between the two characters.  It did provide the reader with an opportunity to learn more about Barker\’s mysterious past.  Though the identity of the culprit is not a mystery, the chase, some surprises and the hunt for the truth creates a suspenseful adventure.  The cliffhangers hint at possibilities for their future exploits.

The Panther

From Margaret Mezzacapo
Author: Nelson DeMille
The Panther
Another thriller, full of technical details and seemingly extensive research. This follows what seems to be a formula by the author – the daring exploits of wisecracking detective, John Corey, and his perfect, beautiful wife, Kate Mayfield, as they hunt down a terrorist leader in the Middle East. There were parts that made me think that DeMille could turn a trip to the grocery store into a techno-thriller, and parts where Detective Corey’s attitude, which is frequently sexist, grated on the nerves. The book does, however, make you wonder when hearing news about the Middle East.

The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

From Vikram Teen Book Reviewer
Author:  Douglas Adams
The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy 
I have just read the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This book begins at Arthur Dent’s house. He wakes up in the morning and notices contractors with bulldozers waiting for Arthur to leave his house so they could destroy it and build a new bypass. Arthur wanted to keep his house, which he felt was special to him, so he laid on his lawn. Arthur’s friend, Ford Perfect, finds Arthur lying in front of the bulldozers. That is how the story starts. Ford Perfect was unusual for the reason that he was an alien.  Ford tries to explain to Arthur that the earth will be destroyed by the Vogons because the greedy aliens wanted to make space for a hyperspace bypass. If I told you anymore about this book, I would ruin the suspense of the book. I would recommend this book to more advanced seventh or eighth graders. This was a great book, and you would like it more especially if you are into action packed books.


From Chris Garland
titl: Millions [videorecording]
Millions is an uplifting tale about a nine year old boy whose mother has died and is moving with his father and brother to a new home and a new school. Damian is fascinated by the saints, who inspire him to do good deeds.

One day, the heavens provide him with an endless supply of money, which leads him on a complex adventure on which he will learn what money means to different people and what is really important in life.

Alex Etlel turns in a memorable performance as young Damien under the direction of Academy Award winning Danny Boyle.

SilverFin : the graphic novel

From Edward, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Higson, Charlie & Walker, Kev
SilverFin : the graphic novel
Silverfin is a graphic novel that explains James Bond’s origin and bits of his childhood. It starts off with teenage Bond going to Scotland to visit his uncle, a former spy. He and his new friend, Kelly go camping after exploring the town. On the trip they see a large castle called Hellebore’s castle, and begin discovering strange things about it. This is where Bond starts exploring and learning even stranger things. I recommend this book to about anybody who enjoys comic books or is interested in James Bond. The story is very interesting because of the twists and turns it makes and while the beginning wasn’t very exciting, the rest is. All together, Silverfin will make you ask for another story.

Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)

From Margie Hartough
author: Evanowich, Janet
Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series #16)
Summer is a great time to visit cool friends,   Stephanie, Lula, Connie, Grandma Mazur, Ranger, Morelli and they’re back with another adventure.  Cousin Vinny has gone missing and owes a lot of money for gambling debt. If Vinny goes down so does the bond agency and Stephanie has to do whatever it takes to save it, even listening to Lula’s crazy plans. Also Stephanie has  inherited a lucky bottle from Uncle Pip, which is supposed to bring luck.  Good luck or back luck no one knows! And the off again on again romance with Morelli is off, but Ranger is on this summer.  It’s just all fun!

Hunger Games

From Monica Salo
author: Collins,Suzanne
Hunger Games
In this engrossing, futuristic story set in North America, a 16 year old girl named Katniss takes the place of her younger sister to represent the District 12 in the Hunger Games.  The capitol of the districts keeps order by demanding two young representatives from each all 12 districts, to compete in their game.  Competing meaning that only one person is able to win and that is the surviving participant from all the twelve districts.  They are forced to eliminate their competitors in a controlled area with unnatural and harsh conditions, while the people of all the districts watch this competition on television.   This is a fast moving adventure story with riveting suspense and great character development that will have you looking forward for the sequel.

Going Bovine

From Rosalia Millan
author: Bray, Libba
Going Bovine
Cameron Smith is a sixteen year old focused on being a slacker, and doing as little as possible.  There is nothing really wrong with his home life, he just feels overlooked and has decided to exploit that for all it’s worth. Everything changes when he contracts Creutzfeldt-Jacob or “Mad Cow” Disease and Dulcie, a punk rock angel, tells him that if he finds Dr.X he can be cured and he can save the world.

This book has a really great road trip adventure story that focuses on the importance of living life, without being overly heavy and trying to beat the reader over the head with a message.  The author makes sure that Cameron gets a chance to experience everything, the good and the bad, without dwelling on Cameron’s disease. The adventure that Cameron and Gonzo go on is all about parallel dimensions and possible time travel, but the reader isn’t bombarded with a bunch of technical science terminology so that even those that are not really into science fiction can enjoy this work.  I completely understand why this book was selected as this year’s Printz Award winner.  It’s an entertaining adventure story with a lot of depth to it.

Village of the Ghost Bears

From Rosemarie Jerome
author: Jones, Stan
Village of the Ghost Bears
Eight people killed in a fire; frozen bodies found on the tundra; is it all part of a cover-up?  Revenge?  A serial killer?  State Trooper Nathan Active’s beat is the remote Arctic Alaskan town of Chukchi and his investigation is complicated by the weather, the terrain and the culture of the region.  The plot twists, unique characters and glimpses of the Alaskan wilderness make this a quick and engaging read.  This is the fourth novel in the Nathan Active Mystery series which includes White Sky; Black Ice; Shaman Pass and Frozen Sun.