How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant ISBN: 9780747599197
Caldecott, Elen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2009
Kirsty Jenkins is a one off! In this book, that one must take with a pinch of disbelief, we first meet Kirsty and her Grandfather. The two of them are very close and enjoy working on his allotment together, and when Grandad becomes ill and dies, she promises him that she will take on the allotment. This is easier said than done as the city, in the form of Mr Thomas, insists that the allotment must go to the next person on the waiting list. Kirsty is in a stepfamily. Her dad has two children from his first marriage, and while Kirsty gets along fine with her stepbrother Ben, stepsister Dawn is the sister from hell. And they have to share a room when staying with Kirsty and her mum and dad. When Grandad dies, dad becomes badly depressed, to the point where he never leaves his room, so Kirsty must cope with this development as well as with the death of Grandad and the possible loss of the allotment. When Kirsty, Ben and Dawn (finally) gang together to try to save the allotment, they come up with amazing ideas, the last of which is stealing the stuffed elephant from the local museum. The fact that they accomplish this in a fun but hard-to-believe heist is the final element of the story. In spite of the sad aspects of the novel, this is basically a funny book, full of rip-roaring adventures, and the family relationships work. The parents are rather ciphers, not terribly real, but the children are something else. Of course they get the allotment back, and all the family works to make it right, as Grandad would have wished.
Age: 10+