Set in America in 1881, this is a heartwarming story of courage and perseverance. Fifteen-year-old Tad Hawkins, a lonely, awkward orphan, is thrilled and amazed when showman and huckster Michael Keenan brings an elephant to town. When Keenan is killed in a railway accident, his daughter, Cissie, persuades Tad to help her get to her friend Ketty, in Nebraska--with the elephant. There's just one problem. Tad and Cissie are being pursued by two unsavory characters who claim they bought the elephant from Cissie's father before he died. But Tad and Cissie are determined to outwit the crooks, keep their 2,000-pound friend safe, and make the long and difficult journey west. Beset by obstacles, tired, dirty, hungry, and often overwhelmed, the two youngsters never give up, and after a series of thrilling and sometimes scary adventures, they reach their destination. There's a happy ending for everyone--Tad (who learns that he's strong, tough, and smart), Cissie (who's reunited with her best friend, Ketty), and even the giant pachyderm (who gets to stay with the person who loves him best). "The Great American Elephant Chase" is a wonderful adventure story with plenty of fast-moving action. Charmingly told with humor and warmth, it's never gushy or silly, and it keeps the reader's attention from the first page to the last.