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The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan [BOOK REVIEW]

The Elephant in the Room

I am so excited to finally share with you my review of The Elephant in the Room by Holly Goldberg Sloan. It was a true pleasure to read this book, and I devoured it very fast!

About The Book:

The Elephant in the Room

Publisher: Piccadilly Press

Pages: 256

Format I read it in: uncorrected proof

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US


In this beautiful book, we follow young Sila, whose mum had to travel to Turkey one year ago to try and solve her immigration status and be able to return to the United States. Sila is not handling the separation well and is not as happy as she used to be. She doesn’t talk as much as she used to and is ignoring her friends.

One day, she accompanies her father while he’s fixing a truck. On this trip, she meets an elderly man who has the most incredible story – he has just won the lottery months ago. Together, they end up rescuing a circus elephant called Veda. And the rescue also leads to Sila helping out during the summer, together with a boy called Mateo.

This summer will introduce Sila to sadness, excitement, friendships and a very unique connections between her, Mateo, and the amazing elephant Veda, who also has a story of her own.

My Thoughts:

The Elephant in the Room is a very heartwarming book and I love how positive it felt, despite the obvious challenges that Sila is facing right from the very start. Honestly, my feelings were enhanced while reading this book, and I recall now how strongly I wanted to hug Sila, when she thought her wearing a certain shirt had an impact to her mum’s fate.

“Goodbyes were more important than they appeared to be.”

We have many characters that are going through a difficult period in their life; Sila is missing her mother, Gio his wife. Veda, the elephant, has been separated from her mum and sent with the circus. And Mateo is struggling to fit in. I wish he could’ve had a glimpse of how Sila and Mateo’s mums were feeling with their situations as well. In my opinion, Mateo’s character is portrayed very beautifully. I loved reading Mateo’s POV, his feelings, his thoughts. And I also love the fact that Veda has a POV as well – that was a very nice touch!

“The circus people could teach her to do many things. But they could not teach her to trust them. Or to ever forget her past.”

I really enjoyed this book!

It was very emotional and it highlights how children react to changes in their lives. It also shows the human and animal interaction, and how animals are able to understand feelings, as well as how sometimes humans can communicate better with animals as well. Furthermore, the friendships and the positivity in this book is overwhelming! Good people are all around us, we just have to find them, or let them find us. However, the only remark I have is that this book is too short and I wish the ending was longer. Unfortunately, it all unraveled rather abruptly in the last 20 pages and I wish we dived into that more slowly.

“Is something better because you don’t see it all the time?”

If this book is made into a movie, I would love to see it! I think many people would enjoy watching it as well. To conclude, if you are looking for a heart-warming fast read about a witty girl, unusual boy and an elephant that befriends them, The Elephant in the Room is the book you want.



About The 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).

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.

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