An entire herd of elephants will care for a member that falls ill.

—From Care of Jungle Elephants by Tin San Bo

The flood left, but the fever stayed.

I sit on the floor of our hut and hold a cold washcloth to Chanda’s forehead. My mother boils another pot of basil tea on our village’s clay stove in the courtyard. Voices of our neighbors gathered around her flow through the open door of our home.

“Here—papaya juice with honey.”

“Have you tried raisins with ginger? Boil them together and have her drink the liquid.”

“Take these onions, Parvati. When my son had a fever, I made him onion broth.”

September marked the end of monsoon season, but an October rain flooded the river near our village last week.

Excerpt copyright © 2012 Lynne Kelly


About the book:

Ten-year-old Hastin’s sister has fallen ill, and his family must borrow money to pay for her care in the hospital. To work off the debt, Hastin leaves his village in northern India to work in a faraway jungle as an elephant keeper. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders–will they both survive long enough to escape?

What people are saying:

“Kelly’s fine debut brings the jungles of India to life.”–Kirkus

“…a story that unwraps the heart and asks it to be brave, loyal, and above all, kind.”–Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Underneath and Keeper

Released: May 8, 2012

About the author:

Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, lived in a couple of much colder places, then returned to the Houston area, where she works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults. Chained is her first novel. Visit her at www.lynnekellybooks.com.