Elephant Run, written by Roland Smith, tells the story of a boy whose father owns and runs a teak plantation in Burma. It is 1941. Nick Freestone has been sent by his mother, from London, to stay with his father, Jackson Freestone, believing it to be safer in the Burmese forests than living in London during the blitz. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Japanese have begun thier conquest of southeast Asia.
Nick is pleased at the idea of spending time with his father, and eager to learn more about the teak plantation, how it works, how the elephants are raised and trained to help harvest the timber. But before Nick can settle in, the Japanese arrive and take over the plantation, using the timber elephants and their handlers as forced labor to build a secret airfield there.
Nick is kept as hostage and forced to work as a servant for the Japanese rulers, along with the Burmese who had worked for his father. Jackson Freestone becomes a prisoner of war, with no hope of escape - for that would put Nick in further danger.
Roland Smith has written an exciting adventure set during WWII, portraying a part of that war which is not as well known as the war in Europe. Elephant Run is an interesting story of a captive people, the Burmese, as well as the fight over Japanese tyranny during WWII by the native populations in southeast Asia.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith is a Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee for 2010.