When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)
Called “one of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations” by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale — and now, with humor and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.
In the winding stone tower of the Casa Rosa, in a quiet little village in the Swiss Alps, lives one very unlikely angel—one that is still awaiting her instructions from the angel-training center. What happens to an angel who doesn't know her mission? She floats and swishes from high above, watching the crazy things that "peoples" say and do. But when a zany American girl named Zola arrives in town and invades the Casa Rosa, dogs start arfing, figs start flying through the air, lost orphans wander in, and the village becomes anything but quiet. And as Zola and the angel work together to rescue the orphans, they each begin to realize their purpose and learn that there is magic in the most ordinary acts of kindness.
As Michael Morpurgo writes in an author's note, An Elephant in the Garden is inspired by historical truths, and by his admiration for elephants, "the noblest and wisest and most sensitive of all creatures." Here is a story that brings together an unlikely group of survivors whose faith in kindness and love proves the best weapon of all.