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The Girl Who Stole an Elephant – Book Review and Teaching Ideas Blog

March 30th 2022| Phil Stronge

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant is the fantastic debut novel by author, Nizrana Farook. This fast-paced adventure is perfectly suited for use in the Key Stage 2 classroom.

The story centres around Chaya, the brave and no-nonsense lead character, and her two companions – Neel and Nour. Chaya steals trinkets from people who are too rich to even notice they are missing and uses them to help those in need. However, her decision to steal the Queen’s jewels unwittingly plunges herself, her friends and her family into real danger. The thrilling adventure that ensues is breath-taking and the pace never lets up until the story reaches its exhilarating conclusion.

Set on the lush island of Serendib (the Arabic name for Sri Lanka), the descriptions leap from the page painting vivid images of dense jungles and vibrant palaces. Nizrana Farook is excellent at engaging all of the senses in her descriptions. The three main characters are very strong too, each with their own individual personality traits which feel genuine throughout.

An example of some of the stunning scenery you can expect to find in Serendib

This is the sort of book that gets into the action straight away and keeps going at a relentless pace. With 48 very short chapters, it is ideal to share with a class and will definitely have children begging you to read on.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant is a great book to read if your class are learning about jungles and rainforests offering a refreshing alternative to the Amazon Rainforest. It is also packed full of interesting themes to explore such as friendship, power and the class system, standing up for what you believe to be right and the complex issue of what is right and wrong. In particular, the fact that Chaya – much like Robin Hood – steals from the rich to help the poor. In terms of writing, the book is brilliant for exploring descriptive writing, developing characters and writing fast-paced action.

Classroom Resources

We loved the book so much that we created a range of resources that you can use with your class while reading the book. We have a display pack, a number of reading comprehension activities and a wide range of writing activities, all ready to be utilised in your classroom now.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant – Display Activity Pack

Make a fabulous and eye-catching display in your classroom with this pack themed all around the popular text – The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook.

The pack includes content to cut and display plus book review templates which the children can design and colour in. This would look particularly beautiful in a school library area.

The Serendib Reporter Newspaper Template

Become a journalist for The Serendib Reporter! Use this resource to recap the features for newspaper report writing in Lower Key Stage 2.

This planning tool offers an exciting idea for writing, based on the missing characters and their thieving ways in The Girl Who Stole An Elephant.

This resource supports children in the planning process to enable confident and clear writing, with instructions and questions to support ideas.

Character Study – Chaya

The Character Study is a great resource for children to explore the main characters of mischievous Chaya, loyal Neel and their new friend Nour from the story.

Use this resource after reading the book, for children to demonstrate their in-depth understanding of the characters’ personalities, actions and the motives behind them.

Re-tell the Story Sequencing Activity

This resource is great support for ordering and re-telling the story in a visual way.

Children cut out, discuss and order the illustrations to re-tell the story, with an extra challenge of writing each part of the story to match the illustrations.

And That’s Not All!

We’ve got LOTS of other resources available to download too! Our resources are the perfect accompaniment for this fantastic book and you definitely don’t want to miss out on using these in your classroom! Make sure you head to the topic tag today so you can grab your resources!

Where Can I Purchase a Copy of the Book?

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant is available to purchase directly from Nosy Crow, the publisher of Nizrana’s debut book.

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant – Written by Nizrana Farook & cover illustrated by David Dean

Nizrana also runs her own website full of videos, resources, and lots of other fantastic content which you can view below:

Alongside her website, Nizrana is also active on various Social Media platforms:

View all posts by: Phil Stronge
Categories: Classroom Environment, Teaching Ideas
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