Y'Tin is brave. No one in his village denies that. And while his mother may
withthat he'd spend more time on his schoolwork than on training his elephant, she knows that it takes a great deal of courage and calm to handle elephants the way that Y'Tin does. He is the best handler in the village -- and at thirteen years old, the youngest. Maybe he'll even open up his own school someday to teach other Dega how to train wild elephants! That was the plan, anyway -- back before the American troops pulled out of the Vietnam War, back before Y'Tin's village was attacked by North Vietnamese forces, back before they had started digging a massive, menacing pit, back before Y'Tin watched his life change in a million terrible ways.
Now his bravery is truly put to the test: He can stay in his village, held captive by the North Vietnamese, or he can risk his life (and save his elephant's) by fleeing into the jungle.
Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Kadohata brings us close to a world few people know about -- but will never forget. Heartbreaking yet full of hope, Y'Tin's story is one of lasting friendships, desperate choices, and all that we lose when we are forced to change.