Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s comes a heartfelt story about the importance of compassion and bravery when facing life’s challenges” (Kirkus) for fans of The One and Only Ivan and Front Desk. 

It’s been almost a year since Sila’s mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States.

The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.

A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humor that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.

Release Date: 2nd March 2021

Format Read: Paperback

Genres: Middle Grade, Coming of Age, Friendship, Animals

Pages: 256

Thank you so much to Piccadilly Press for the Proof Copy to read and review.

Review: This book is so beautiful, sad sweet, creative, unique and crafted so well. 

When Sila’s mother is sent away on immigration issues she becomes a withdrawn and sad girl. One day her dad gets a job to fix a truck for an older man, he and Sila connect in a way neither would imagine and an unexpected dream is formed between them and a beautiful majestic elephant named Veda.

This story had so much heart to it, all the characters were perfectly written, it’s nice to find realistic characters in a story it makes it that much easier to connect. I loved that Mateo was autistic and that Sila didn’t judge him for that, though at times she found the things he said and did odd she accepted that that was him and became friends with him slowly and naturally. I loved the bond they all made with Veda who became the centre to their world and how because of her they all formed this beautiful family together. 

I haven’t read a book told in the way this one was, we got chapters that were told from the animals perspectives, we also got them told from all the other characters too, not just Sila. I personally found I loved that, the natural and easy to follow changing of who the story was from, it gave you extra inside to the world we were reading about and made you connect that much more to them all. 

From the fragile-ness of Sila, the bonds and friendships, the connection with the Veda, the sadness they had all gone through, the help and kindness they all showed each other, the characters all being from different cultural backgrounds and to the deep rooted heart that this story tells, it’s perfect. 

I cannot find fault in the story or in the way it was written, this story touched me deeply and will stay with me for a while. I highly recommendreading this book it is crafted so well and is so delicately written, the story will touch your heart and make you weep a little. It’s so beautiful.


Where to buy: Amazon, Wordery, BookDepository, Waterstones

About Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California, the Netherlands, Istanbul, Washington, DC, and Oregon (where she graduated from high school). She wrote the screenplay for Angels in the Outfield and directed The Big Green, as well as a number of other successful family feature films. 

The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband (the writer/illustrator Gary Rosen) in Santa Monica, California. I’ll Be There was her debut novel. Her next book, Counting By 7s, was Amazon’s best novel of the year for middle grade. Her book Just Call My Name is a follow up to I’ll Be There and takes place several months after the ending of the first novel. 

Appleblossom the Possum was written by Sloan and Illustrated by Rosen and comes out of Sloan’s love for Charlotte’s Web. Her next novel will be published in January of 2017 from Dial/Penguin Random House.


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