Cover image for A circle of elephants
A circle of elephants
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles ; New York : Disney-Hyperion, 2019.
Physical Description:
266 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Companion to: What elephants know.
Thirteen-year-old Nanda Singh, the youngest elephant driver in Nepal, enjoys a very special relationship with his tusker, Hira Prashad, through which he grows in understanding and compassion with all animals, including humans.


Material Type
Call Number
Children's Book Fiction Diner
Children's Book Fiction Diner
Children's Book Fiction Diner

On Order



From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children's Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.

Author Notes

Eric Dinerstein , PhD, attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University and did his graduate studies in wildlife science at the University of Washington. He is the Director of biodiversity and wildlife solutions at RESOLVE, where he devotes his time to the conservation of wild populations of elephants, rhinos, tigers, and other endangered species. He was previously chief scientist and vice president for conservation science at the World Wildlife Fund for nearly twenty-five years. Dinerstein began researching tigers in Nepal in 1975 as a Peace Corps volunteer. He later continued fieldwork in the region, studying rhinos and tigers for the Smithsonian Institution. Dinerstein's nonfiction works include: The Return of the Unicorns: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros ; Tigerland and Other Unintended Destinations ; and The Kingdom of Rarities .

Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This companion novel to What Elephants Know takes place in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal. In the new Royal Elephant Breeding Center, 13-year-old Nandu lives with his adoptive father. Nandu and Hira Prasad, the center's powerful bull elephant, forge a bond when they experience an earthquake together. This moment sparks an emotional journey for Nandu as he comes to grips with the reality of the time and place: animal poaching. Nandu, the narrator, is able to relate to the characters in the story on a deep level, having experienced loss among his people and the animals that surround him. Powerful messages resonate throughout the novel, including kindness, empathy, and harmony among individuals practicing different faiths. These messages authentically come through in the actions and deeds of the main characters' and their responses to some of the difficult events of the novel. The author deftly weaves his scientific knowledge with gentle prose to create a heartfelt tale. A glossary of important terms is a helpful reference for readers. VERDICT Highly recommended and a must-buy where there are fans of What Elephants Know.-Selene Athas, Director of Libraries, Roland Park Country School © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Nandu, now 13, has found happiness in his life in the Nepalese borderlands, where he lives with his adoptive father at the Royal Elephant Breeding Center, among the king's elephants and rhinos. But life in the borderlands, though wondrous, is not easy; as Nandu spends his days working with Hira Prasad, the bull elephant with whom he has formed a special bond, he also deals with environmental issues, like drought and famine, and faces increasing problems with poachers, who are willing to kill Nandu's beloved animals for their tusks and horns. He learns the depths to which opportunistic humans will sink, and, in finding new friendships, discovers the goodness that people can offer as well. In this sequel to What Elephants Know (2016), naturalist Dinerstein offers further insight into a hidden world as Nandu learns more about human nature and his own heart through his work with the elephants. With its abundant STEM connections and quiet prose, this is a natural fit for curious, animal-loving middle-graders.--Maggie Reagan Copyright 2018 Booklist