The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
This book was a challenge to read! DiCamillo wrote in a very different style from her other novels, and it was confusing. There were so many clauses and modifiers that sometimes I had to reread sentences without these parts to understand the literal meaning. Only then could I add the details back in to try to figure out what they were adding to the story. In many cases, I didn't figure out why the sentences were so convoluted.
The story, however, was an interesting and original tale about a boy searching for his long lost sister--so long lost he doesn't actually know if she's alive for the first half of the book! Without giving much away, I feel that the story has much to offer, but I was not a fan of how it was offered.
I did pick this book because it had the word elephant in the title. I am currently infatuated with elephants. I am not sure I would recommend it as a read to friends or students because it was so trying to follow the storyline, and much of what challenged me did not feel necessary or beneficial. However, I enjoyed the plot and character development.