Jack’s mom is gone, leaving him all alone on a campsite in Maine. Can he find his way back to Boston before the authorities realize what happened? (Ages 10-14)
Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and "spinning" wildly until it’s over. But Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park, with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself – starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before DSS catches on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties – and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.
Jack’s journey to a new kind of family is inspiring and never sappy —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Jack comes to realize that he hadn’t been alone, that family and people he didn’t even know were there for him in a ‘makeshift herd.’ The happy yet realistic ending leaves Jack (and readers) ‘light-headed with hope.’ —Horn Book
Jennifer Richard Jacobson’s nuanced and heart-wrenching middle-grade novel, Small as an Elephant, gives a quiet force to one resilient boy and his mentally ill mother. —Bookpage
A classic journey story, this is a very believable and exciting adventure with modern accoutrements. —Library Media Connection
A near-perfect mix of poignancy, humor, and masterful writing make for an unforgettable journey. —Midwest Book Review