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When an Elephant Cries: A Book Review

People tend to start dreaming about their future when they are just little. We are encouraged to dream big, and eventually, when we are older, pursue it. And when we grow older, enough to understand things, reality will kick in, and then we will realize that life is not pure unicorn and candies; instead, it is wildlife, where we need to fight against all the other wildlife animals just to reach our dreams.

The novel When an Elephant Cries is a gem. It was excellently written and delivered by the author Aquilinus Odong, who is also the protagonist of the story as it is his real-life story. When you read the whole book, one might notice how great of a storyteller the author is. He shared his successes as well as his emotional turmoil.

Aquilinus Odong

The story is about a boy from a distinctive ethnic group in northern Uganda called the Acholi tribe.   Within the tribe, he is a Palyec, a member of the Elephant clan. He then considers himself an Elephant. And he thought to himself,

“What happens when an elephant cry? Could an elephant, the real beast of the bush, really cry in despair? What could cause such despair in the most giant of all land mammals? Isn’t it the case, though, as seen on TV that a pride of lions makes a way out of respect for the ultimate beast? What circumstance, then, would make such a proud animal cry?”

He also found himself searching a dream far more significant than what he is told to dream about to find answers to his questions.

The book gives a little pinch in the heart, but it also offers hope to its reader. It is a marvelous story that one could easily sense that it is written from the heart. It is very relatable, making the readers see themselves on the character. This is an inspiring story that should be read by man, a must-read, indeed.

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