Papa Tembo

By: Eric Campbell

Papa Tembo (Elephant Gold)

Eric Campbell

Born in Barrows-in-Furness, England, author Eric Campbell wrote many books such as Shark Callers and Place of Lions. Campbell's novel Papa Tembo was published September 1st, 1998. Campbell spent many of his years working as a school teacher and administrator. He currently lives in Papua, Indonesia working as a technical writer for a mining company. (Goodreads)

The Novel

Papa Tembo is a book based on the American classic Moby Dick. The main antagonist, Lauren Van Der Wel, is left crippled and sour from an elephant attack he experienced 50 years earlier. Van Der Wel now spends all of his time risking the lives of himself and his workers. The only opponent to Van Der Wel's goal is a group of scientists bent on protecting the elephants, one of which includes a young girl named Allison.


This novel constantly expresses its multiculturalism through the change of dialogue that is used and the way that words are used. Some words or phrases that normal "American" novels would use in one sense, are used in a completely different manner. This is extremely important in the current generation because many schools are not incorporating multicultural literature in the reading schedule. This is not good because students may never be exposed to cultures or norms of other cultures.

How it appeals to teens

This book appeals to teens because it has humorous aspects and can relate to the modern lives of most teens dealing with everyday struggles.