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2012 Nominee
Voted 10 out of 20

Follow the Elephant

By Beryl Young. Published in 2010 by Ronsdale Press

Thirteen year old Ben is angry and isolated after his father dies of lung cancer, and his mother worries that Ben is withdrawing from the family by wasting his time with computer games and skipping school to hang out in video arcades.

Ben’s grandmother invites him on a seventeen day trip to India to look for her childhood pen pal. Ben always thought he’d like to travel one day, though never with his grandmother, but the ticket is already bought and immunization shots are booked.

In a search that starts in the long lines of a Delhi registry office, Ben and Gran travel across the huge sub-continent by plane, bus, train, taxi, boat, rickshaw and horse-drawn tonga. Along the way Ben is strangely compelled to be near the magnificant live elephants and the Hindu elephant boy-god, Ganesh.

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