Rightly praised by Michael Morpurgo, this story tells the tale of Bat, the young village cow herder and Meya, the elephant he rescues after finding her orphaned by ivory poachers. The friendship between boy and elephant is sensitively depicted against the colourful background of African village life. This peaceful existence is broken, when Bat is abducted by child soldiers and drawn into their brutal world. Bat and his friend Muka suffer great hardship and adventure before being led to safety by Meya. Although this is a work of fiction, it touches on real and contemporary issues, whether ivory poaching or the forced conscription of young children into guerilla armies.This is an engaging and compelling read.