Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

Book Summary

It comes as a complete shock to the magician that he is able to conjure the elephant at all - it is just as surprising to him as it is to the elephant standing on stage in front of the gasping audience. A series of assorted characters are drawn together by the magical moment, by the threads of kindness, perseverance, tragedy, and forgiveness.
The Magician's Elephant book cover
The Magician's Elephant

Book Review

This is an odd story - there's no question about that. If you like quirky magic and pondering, it's beautifully written and it has something meaningful to say about how people handle unexpected turns, and how people care (or fail to care) for each other, and how we are connected, even if we think we want to opt out of those connections. These are powerful ideas, and there's no objectionable content that would keep this book away from an advanced 3rd grade reader, but it's better suited for more sophisticated readers - adults seeking fairy tales, perhaps - or at least middle school readers with a penchant for whimsy.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • How Humanity is Connected
  • Forgiveness
  • How People Handle Unexpected Events
  • Kindness; Justice
  • Perspectives
  • Magic

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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