An Elephant in the Garden

It’s 1944. Elizabeth’s father is fighting with the German army on the Eastern front. Meanwhile, her mother works at Dresden zoo, where her favourite animal is a young elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her that all the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok if the town is bombed, Elizabeth’s mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her! But then the bombs hit Dresden in a hail of deadly fire. With their home destroyed, Elizabeth and her family must flee the bombed-out city and race through the wintry landscape, as menacing Russian troops approach. It would be hard enough – even without an elephant in tow!

This heart-stopping novel from one of Britain’s greatest storytellers tells the thrilling and moving story of a wild animal caught up in a very human war.

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Recent reviews

  • loved it

    This amazing book is about an elephant joining a family’s lives during World War two. After the bombing in Dresden, Germany devastates their city, this family is forced to flee with an elephant trailing behind him. This heart-touching story describes the adventures of two kids, their mom, and an elephant, as they fight for survival. I would recommend this book to boy’s and girls, ages 9-14. It’ll leave you hanging on every word, especially if your into adventure and survival stories! I love this book!

    6 March 2018

  • You get a feeling what it is like in world war two although it’s sad there is always some excitement.

    8 March 2013

  • loved it

    Loving it so far!! :)

    7 March 2013

  • loved it

    This is so sad but so cool at once.I could not imagine life like this!I like when the solider joins them on their adventure,its really thrilling at the end.Karl,the boy in the hospital,listens to Elizabeth who tells the story.Fantastic!

    Julia,9 years old

    22 February 2013

  • liked it

    I liked this book because it was exciting and very realistic!

    15 July 2012

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  • Photo of Michael Morpurgo

    Michael Morpurgo

    Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books for children, and has won a multitude of awards as well as serving as Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005.


    Michael was the Children’s Laureate 2003-2005, and has won many awards including The Whitbread Prize For The Wreck of the Zanzibar, the Smarties prize for The Butterfly Lion the Blue Peter Award for Private Peaceful and the Red House award for Shadow.

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