Elephant Run

Not Myanmar. No, This is Burma!

What is Elephant Run?

This book takes place during World War II. In the beginning, Nick's apartment is bombed. So, he goes to Burma with his dad, who owns and lives on a teak plantation. But, Japanese soldiers are invading! Now Nick, his to-be friend Mya, her brother Indaw, and Nick's father are planning to drop Nick and Mya off at India going on elephant back and then go back to fight the Japanese. Will they be caught before they escape to safety? Get Elephant Run to find out! The protagonist or main characters are Nick, Mya, and Taung Baw. The antagonist is the Japanese. BE WARNED: This book switches minds or is third person omniscient.

Names, Names, Names, Names...

There are some really cool Burmese names in Elephant Run like Taung Baw and

Kya Lei. Taung Baw means Hilltop because he was found on a hilltop. Kya Lei means Tiger's Breath because he is "as elusive and dangerous as a tiger's breath". Did you know Taung Baw can talk to elephants? He can even calm down elephants in a yearly rage called musth or mone. Kya Lei is an outcast, running from the law. He's like Robin Hood, stealing from the wealthy and giving to the poor. Nobody has been able to catch him because all the villages help hide him in return for food and money.

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Sadly the Japanese hunt tigers. Bad luck Kay Lei! They think he's with some group who's main aim is to take down the Japanese one bit at a time.

Teak Plantations

Now how exactly is a teak plantation run in Elephant Run? Everyone who logs is a mahout. There's the leader, Nick's father. The second highest ranking person is the singoung, Nang, who is Mya's father. Everyone else is their's to command. Magwe is one of the lower mahouts. He's angry at Nick's father for choosing Nang as singoung when Magwe's father and grandfather have been singoung. He's part of the mahouts who think that the Japanese will give them a better life. As you read you will find out whether he was wrong or right about if it would make him change his mind.
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Burma Not Myanmar

Isn't it weird that the government of Burma suddenly decided to change their name to Myanmar? Personally, I like Burma better. But what about the poor Burmese cats? Will they have to change their name to Myanmese cats? What do you think sounds better? Burmese or Myanmese? Did Burma accept this change? They didn't like it... a lot, but they had to learn to try to accept it.
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Save the Teak Trees!

Sadly, at the rate of logging going on right now, teak trees are becoming more and more rare and we can't plant them all back without holding back on the cutting down. Help save the teak trees! Also, do you really need something made from mahogany or malaysian wood? Or, could you make-do with maple or oak. Don't buy rare, expensive wood, it just helps funding for cutting them down. Re-use and make-do.

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