TeensHalifax Public Librariesbooks
Halifax Public Libraries


Ten Blog

April 2018

Review: When The Elephants Dance, by Teen Blogger Hannah

Posted on 09-Apr-18 18:35
Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.' The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens." When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe, set during the last month of the World War II tells the story of the Karangalan family, their neighbours and friends who seek refuge in the basement of the family home from the Japanese soldiers. It is Narrated through the 3 main characters: Domingo, a guerilla fighter, and Alejandro and Isabelle who happen to be siblings. Time is passed in the basement when member of the group tell mystical stories of their life, each story is unique and lends a different perspective on Philippine culture. Through the characters Holthe explores complex ideas and questions such as honor, family, religion, and patriotism, one’s true identity, loyalty and betrayal.
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